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Investment cooperation between Russia, Belgium alive despite sanctions — PM Medvedev

The trade turnover between the countries surged 20% in 11 months of last year, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said

GORKI, January 30. /TASS/. The investment cooperation between Russia and Belgium is still alive despite sanctions, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.

"Despite certain circumstances connected with the sanctions policy, (Russia and Belgium) have not halted the investment cooperation: the amount of accumulated investments stands at $1.2 bln on Belgium's side as of the middle of last year, and around half a billion dollars on Russia's side," Medvedev said following the talks with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel on Tuesday.

"Speaking about trade, it has been recovering lately, as the trade turnover surged 20% in 11 months of last year," Russian PM said, adding that both sides have demonstrated positive dynamics.

According to Medvedev, the two countries have promising prospects of expanding cooperation in such sectors as metals industry, energy, aerospace industry, pharmacy, medicine, particularly taking into account a 20-25% rise in Russia’s pharmaceutical market. "Hopefully, entrepreneurs will be more active," he added.

Medvedev has welcomed Michel’s wish to maintain the dialog with Moscow in defiance of the EU’s sanctions.

"The Belgian prime minister’s visit is evidence Belgium wishes and is prepared to play a more active role in the restoration of normal and full-fledged relations between Russia and the European Union. It is the correct and pragmatic attitude," Medvedev said. He thanked his Belgian counterpart for the stance he takes.

"The things we are discussing today - the sanctions, retaliatory measures and some lists… In several decades from now all this will be briefly mentioned in history books in a small size font. As for our countries, their relations will remain and we will still be neighbors and, I am certain, business partners with the European Union. This is what really matters," Medvedev said.