Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Maltese counterpart Joseph Muscat will discuss investment cooperation in Moscow on Tuesday, as well as cooperation in the spheres of culture and education, the Russian governmental press service said.

 

Medvedev

 

These will be the first talks of the prime ministers of the two countries since 1992, the press service added. “The Russian prime minister and the Maltese prime minister will discuss condition and prospects of developing bilateral relations, in particular cooperation in the trade-and-economic and investment spheres, in the spheres of tourism, culture and education,” the press service noted.

 

According to the materials for the meeting, Russian-Maltese traditionally friendly relations continue for over 300 years. Next year the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries will be celebrated. Moscow and Valletta agree that Muscat’s visit to Moscow will allow to strengthen relations between Russia and Malta and give an impetus to developing bilateral relations in the future.

 

On the agenda is the whole range of issues of bilateral relations, including ways to expand inter-departmental contacts and opportunities to strengthen bilateral trade-and-economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Considering Malta’s preparations for chairing the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2017, Muscat is interested in discussing pressing international issues, first of all Russia’s relations with EU.

 

It is also expected that the sides will exchange opinions on prospects for overcoming negative factors in bilateral cooperation in different spheres, including decreasing trade turnover caused by EU’s sanctions imposed on Moscow. In 2015, the volume of trade turnover dell by 18% to $2.5 billion.

 

At the same time, several projects are currently being discussed in energy, agriculture and hotel business that could considerably strengthen economic and investment ties between the two countries. After the talks, Medvedev and Muscat will sign several bilateral inter-departmental documents.