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Russian PM may discuss Ukraine issue in Geneva - government official

The Ukrainian crisis may be addressed at the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the World Labor Organization
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Alexander Astafyev/Russian Government Press Office/TASS
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
© Alexander Astafyev/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev may discuss ways to resolve the situation in Ukraine during his meetings in Switzerland on June 10-11, First Deputy Head of Government Executive Office Sergey Prikhodko told reporters.

"The Ukraine issue may be discussed at bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Geneva events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the World Labor Organization," he said. "We are ready to discuss this issue, particularly in order to find a political solution to Ukraine’s domestic conflict based on the full and consistent implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures," Prikhodko added.

He pointed out that Switzerland regularly provided humanitarian aid to the Donbass areas not controlled by Kiev. Over 12,000 tonnes of various goods, including water purification chemicals, have been delivered to the region since April 2015, ensuring uninterrupted water supply to more than four mln people on both sides of the line of contact.

"We welcome the contribution of Swiss representatives to the negotiation process on resolving the situation in Ukraine," Prikhodko noted. He commended the role of former Special Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office Heidi Tagliavini, who had participated in developing the Minsk Agreements. "Her fellow countryman Toni Frisch is the coordinator of the Contact Group’s humanitarian subgroup and is doing a lot to solve pressing issues that the war-torn areas of Donbass are facing," he emphasized.

Russia’s government appreciates Switzerland’s decision not to impose sanctions on Moscow, Prikhodko added.

"In previous years, a number of Swiss officials, including government members, have made public statements that the policy of restrictions towards Russia has turned out to be inconsistent and counterproductive," he pointed out. "Switzerland did not introduce any sanctions concerning cooperation with Russia, which was a far-sighted and pragmatic decision," Prikhodko said.

On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is setting out for a two-day visit to Geneva.

When speaking about economic cooperation between Russia and Switzerland, Prikhodko pointed to growing trade, which had reached $7.4 bln in 2018.

"There is potential for boosting economic cooperation," he said, adding that more than 200 companies with Swiss capital were active in Russia. "Swiss manufacturers have created about 42,000 jobs in our country," Prikhodko said, noting that "not a single Swiss firm has suspended its activities in Russia since 2014."

According to Russia’s Central Bank, Swiss investments in the Russian economy reached $11.9 bln as of October 1, 2018, while Russia has invested $18.2 bln in the Swiss economy. "The Russian Government’s Coordination Council on Foreign Investment includes five representatives of big Swiss concerns, which shows the importance of investment cooperation with Switzerland," Prikhodko emphasized.