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    Medvedev to discuss Skolkovo project with Swiss leader

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will discuss possible participation of Swiss companies in the Skolkovo research hub project with his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard, who will pay a working visit to Russia on Thursday.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will discuss possible participation of Swiss companies in the Skolkovo research hub project with his Swiss counterpart Doris Leuthard, who will pay a working visit to Russia on Thursday.

    Medvedev, who portrays himself as a young and technologically savvy leader, is seeking to improve the economic environment in the country and create incentives for domestic businesses to switch to a knowledge-based and innovative economy.

    "We plan to widely attract Swiss companies to joint high-tech projects, including the Skolkovo research hub project, as well to establishing modern production lines in Russia," a Kremlin source said.

    Skolkovo is being built from scratch 20 kilometers west of Moscow. The center, dubbed the Russian Silicon Valley, will focus on research in five priority spheres: energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technologies.

    The talks between the two leaders will also focus on developing economic, political and cultural ties between the two states.

    "Close cooperation between economic ministries of the two states will play an important role in the development of trade relations," the Kremlin source said, adding that Leuthard and Russian economics minister Elvira Nabiullina will sign an economic cooperation plan until 2013.

    Bilateral trade between Russia and Switzerland almost tripled in the past five years. Trade stood at some $2.8 billion in 2009, and grew 66.4% in the first half of 2009, year-on-year, to more than $5 million.

    Russia invested a total of $6.2 billion into projects in Switzerland, Swiss cumulative investments stood at $4.7 billion, the source said.

    The two leaders will also address top issues of the international agenda, including the new European security treaty proposed by the Russian president, and measures to overcome the global financial crisis.

    The sides will also discuss Switzerland's representation of Russia's interests in Georgia and Georgia's interests in Russia. Two ex-Soviet neighbors severed diplomatic ties after the August 2008 war between Moscow and Tbilisi over South Ossetia.

     

    SOCHI, August 26 (RIA Novosti)

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