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    RUSSIAN VICE PREMIER KHRISTENKO DISCUSSES RUSSIAN-VIETNAMESE COOPERATION IN HANOI

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    HANOI, February 16 (RIA Novosti correspondent Thu Huong) - Vice Premier of the Russian Federation Viktor Khristenko, who is a co-chairman of the Russian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission for trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, conducts negotiations with his counterpart Vu Khoan in the Vietnamese capital.

    The main theme of the negotiations is further expansion of bilateral cooperation in all directions.

    Viktor Khristenko and Vu Khoan are discussing questions connected with the expansion of trade and economic cooperation for a medium-term perspective. They pay especial attention to cooperation in the oil, gas and energy industries, including new projects.

    On Monday, after the session of the intergovernmental commission, Viktor Khristenko will talk with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.

    The signing of the protocol on the results of the commission session has been planned for February 17.

    Today, Russia is among the ten big countries which make investments into the Vietnamese economy. The total sum of Russia's capital investments into Vietnam amounts to about 1.7 billion dollars.

    At the same time, the sides are not satisfied with the existing level of mutual trade and point out that potential possibilities in this sphere are much higher. In the course of eleven months of 2003, trade between Russia and Vietnam amounted to about 590 million dollars, eight percent less in 2002.

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