Speaking at a press conference following Russian-Finnish talks, President Vladimir Putin and Finnish President Tarja Halonen noted with satisfaction the increase in bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic sphere.
Trade between Russia and Finland reached a figure of $15.2 billion in 2005 and came to a total of $8.4 billion for the first half of 2006 – a 14-percent increase compared to the same period of 2005.
This rapid expansion of the trade and economic partnership between the two countries calls for new measures to ensure that the common border operates effectively. During their talks, the two Presidents addressed this issue, paying particular attention to the question of modernising border infrastructure. The two leaders stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach to resolving this issue, including through re-channelling freight traffic through different border crossing points, making more active use of rail and sea links, simplifying and automating customs procedures and exchanging information on freight traffic flows.
The energy sector continues to be an important area of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Approximately 90 percent of Finland’s gas comes from Russia. At the press conference, Mr Putin noted that the two countries share a mutual interest in developing economic cooperation, including in the area of high technology, and gave the assurance that this is a reliable partnership.