FINLAND'S FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER IS ARRIVING IN RUSSIA

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HELSINKI, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - Paola Lihtomaki, Foreign Trade Minister of Finland, is embarking on a two-day official visit to Russia on Monday. Ms Lihtomaki will visit Moscow and Rostov-on-Don.

While in Russia, Ms Lihtomaki is expected to meet Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref to discuss bilateral cooperation issues and relations between Russia and the European Union, according to the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

Ms Lehtomaki said trade turnover between Finland and Russia was growing at a rapid pace, which contributed to the development of bilateral relations.

"It is very important for Finland that relations between Russia and the EU should be efficient. We are making intensive efforts to ensure that. At the same time, we are anxious to develop bilateral relations with Russia," said the minister.

Ms Lehtomaki will also visit Rostov-on-Don to attend the opening ceremony of a Scandinavian business forum being arranged by Finland's foreign trade association, Finpro. The minister will also hold meetings with the senior officials of the Rostov region and the entire Southern Federal District.

"To Finnish businesses, Russia often means Moscow and St Petersburg. However, there are trade prospects and growing markets in other Russian regions as well. Therefore, the forum is a good chance for entrepreneurs," said the minister.

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