21 Nov 2017 15:10

Putin calls 40% rise in Russian-Czech trade over M9 in 2017 good indicator at meeting with Zeman

BOCHAROV RUCHEI. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Czech President Milos Zeman have highlighted the heightened interest the two countries' businesses have in operating in both countries' markets.

"Relations are developing between the Czech Republic and Russia in spite of all difficulties, including owing to your efforts. I should note that if in the past few years we have seen a decline in trade, what is more, a sharp one and almost in double digits, in the nine months of this year we have already observed over 40% growth. And this is a very good sign," Putin said at a meeting with Zeman on Tuesday.

At the same time, Putin said that the Czech counterpart has an intensive agenda in Russia; he in particular plans to visit Yekaterinburg, one of the largest Russian industrial centers.

In turn, Zeman said that 140 businesspeople had arrived with him, which is ten times more than accompanied him during his visit to France.

"This is because the Czech market is most likely here than in France," Putin has made a suggestion and his counterpart agreed on this. Besides, major Czech enterprises operate in Russia. Relations are developing in the energy and nuclear sectors, and there are also certain prospects in machine-building.

"We have something to talk about, including in the humanitarian sphere, I mean that probably almost a fourth of Czech residents speak, anyway, have some Russian language [skills]. And the interest in the Czech language is soaring in our country," the Russian president said.

Leading Russian artistic companies are planning guest performances in the Czech Republic, he said.

In turn, Zeman told him about plans to bring Czech relics to Russia.