Official working visit by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Bern, Press release, 24.06.2009

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, has received today Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, in Bern for an official working visit. Their talks centred on bilateral questions and current international issues.

Mrs Calmy-Rey and Mr Lavrov noted with satisfaction that the dialogue between the authorities of their two countries has strengthened considerably since the signing, in 2007, of a memorandum of understanding on deepening bilateral relations. They reviewed progress made in the discussions on the conclusion of a number of different agreements, in particular, the possibility of a revision of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation between Switzerland and Russia.

In particular they analysed the current state of work in the areas of scientific cooperation, emergency cooperation, re-admission and visas. The possibility of a revision of the double taxation agreement between Switzerland and Russia was also discussed. The work carried out by Switzerland as the representative of Russian interests in Georgia, and the context of this work, was one of the main items of the discussions.  

In addition, the two Foreign Ministers discussed security in Europe in the future, the role of the OSCE, and the continuation of international efforts in the field of arms control. Co-operation within the Council of Europe (of which Switzerland will take over the presidency in November 2009), the situation in the Southern Caucasus, and the question of world energy supplies were also subjects of their discussions.

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