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Russian PM to visit Slovakia
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08:56, April 03, 2008

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Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will visit Slovakia Thursday, in the first visit to the country by a Russian PM in 11 years, to discuss mainly economic issues with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, the Czech news agency CTK said Wednesday.

The two leaders will probably touch upon Transpetrol, the oil pipeline utility, as Slovakia, its majority owner, wants to buy the minority stake that it previously sold to the Russian concern Yukos, which has since collapsed. The stake is now claimed by Yukos' Dutch daughter company, Yukos Finance.

Another topic may be the use of Russian technologies in the construction of new blocks in the nuclear power plant in Mochovce, west Slovakia, and Russian supplies of nuclear fuel to Slovakia.

Zubkov is also to meet Slovakian entrepreneurs during his visit.

On Friday, he will lay wreaths at the memorial of Soviet WWII soldiers at Bratislava's Slavin cemetery.

Since coming into power in mid-2006, Fico's government has declared its interest in improving relations with Moscow.

Fico is an opponent of the USA's plan to build parts of its missile defence shield in the Czech Republic. Russia also opposes the plan.

The last time a Russian prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, visited Slovakia was in 1997 when Vladimir Meciar was Slovakia's prime minister.


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