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Russian, Portuguese top diplomats to discuss Russia-EU relations, Ukraine, Syria

Lisbon is one of Moscow’s most important European partners, Lavrov said
Portugal's Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Portugal's Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks on Monday with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva who is paying a working visit to the Russian capital.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two top diplomats will exchange views on pressing bilateral and international issues. "It is planned to discuss in detail the bilateral agenda and outline the ways of further development of Russian-Portuguese relations," the ministry said. "The assessment of the current state of relations between Russia, the European Union and NATO will be an important part of the talks."

"It is also planned to exchange views on the situation in Ukraine, in Syria, Libya and some African problems," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

Important partner

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, today Lisbon is one of Moscow’s most important European partners. "Portugal has consistently adhered to a balanced approach to its foreign policy," the ministry said. "The upcoming talks between the two foreign ministers are to help maintain the positive dynamics in the political dialogue with Lisbon."

"Russian-Portuguese relations have traditionally been based on partnership, mutual respect and constructive interaction," the ministry noted. "Taking into account the existing experience of cooperation with Portugal on elections to UN agencies, the parties will discuss further cooperation in supporting the candidates from our countries and representatives during elections to international organizations."

The Russian Foreign Ministry also drew attention of Moscow’s and Lisbon’s joint efforts, which have enabled the two sides to overcome a certain decrease in the intensity of political contacts and "in general, intensify bilateral ties in some areas." "Two sessions of the Joint Commission on Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation between Russia and Portugal have been held since then," the ministry said.

Prospects for cooperation

During the upcoming talks, the Russian and Portuguese foreign ministers will discuss the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including trade and economic ties and cultural cooperation.

"While discussing trade and economic issues, the main emphasis will be placed on the importance of promising areas of cooperation, such as international certification, energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy supply, innovations in mechanical and industrial engineering," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "Interregional ties are important for expanding the range of participants in business contacts at the level of small and medium-sized enterprises."

Particular attention will be paid to discussing cooperation between Moscow and Lisbon in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. "Our two countries hold various kinds of cultural and educational activities, festivals, performances of music bands on a regular basis," the ministry noted. "With the support of the country’s authorities, the number of educational institutions in Portugal where Russian is taught is growing. A growing interest in the Portuguese language is observed in Russia as well."

During his visit to Moscow, the Portuguese minister will take part in the closing ceremony of the exhibition "Lords of the Ocean. Treasures of the Portuguese Empire of the 16th-18th centuries." The exhibition opened in the Moscow Kremlin Museums in December 2017 becoming a notable event in Russia’s cultural life, the ministry noted.