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Putin: Russia-EU trade exceeds $410 bln in 2013

BRUSSELS, January 28, 22:40 /ITAR-TASS/. Trade turnover between Russia and the European Union reached a record high level in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

He noted that “despite the unfavourable international economic situation,” trade between Russia and the European Union keeps on increasing.

“Last year, it went up by at least 1.7 percent,” he said, adding that Russia-EU trade in 2012 had reached 410 billion U.S. dollars. “I think the 2013 result will break this record.”

The European Union accounts for half of Russia’s foreign trade turnover. Russia is the biggest supplier of hydrocarbons to the European Union’s market. Russian gas accounts for 24 percent of the European Union’s fuel balance, and Russian oil accounts for 27 percent, Putin noted.

He also noted that Russia and the European Union maintained close relations in the sphere of investments. Thus, he said that European Union accounted for more than 60 percent of Russia’s foreign investments. “Our companies have invested some 80 billion U.S. dollars,” the Russian president stressed, adding that European investments in Russia had reached 288 billion U.S. dollars.

Putin drew attention to the fact that European businesses were present in practically all Russian economic sectors. Thus, European companies take part in the South Stream and Nord Stream gas projects. Apart from that, “European technologies and equipment are playing an important role in the process of modernization of the Russian industrial sector,” he noted.

The Russian leader also said that Russia and the European Union had cooperation ties in the area of research and technology. The year 2014 was been declared the Russia-EU Year of Science, “the programme of which includes more than 200 events,” Putin noted. “It proves that cooperation has large-scale and comprehensive character.