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Bulgarian, Russian Prime Ministers talk trade

Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxecoburggotski continued his four-day visit to Moscow on 5 June with a long discussion with his counterpart, Mikhail Kasyanov, Russian and Western news agencies reported. According to ITAR-TASS, the discussion mainly covered economic cooperation initiatives, particularly in the oil-and-gas sector, transport, and nuclear power.

The two leaders also discussed the settlement of the former Soviet Union's debt to Bulgaria. Russia is Bulgaria's largest trading partner, accounting for 22 percent of Bulgaria's imports, according to the news agency. RIA-Novosti quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Yakovenko as saying that Russia intends to repeat to Saxecoburggotski that Moscow views Bulgaria's desire to join NATO as "a mistake." On 4 June, Saxecoburggotski met with Patriarch Aleksii II.

(RFE/RL 05.vi.02)

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