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Russian ambassador sees potential for closer economic ties
Economics

Russian ambassador sees potential for closer economic ties

04.03.2013 From our online archive
Russian ambassador Mark Entin has been in office for just over 100 days; and while Luxembourg and Russia are growing closer, there is still room for more cooperation, he finds.

(CS) Russian ambassador Mark Entin has been in office for just over 100 days; and while Luxembourg and Russia are growing closer, there is still room for more cooperation, he finds.

In 2012, Luxembourg was the third biggest foreign investor in the Luxembourg economy, highlighting the close economic relationship between the two countries, which was forged under former Economy Minister Jeannot Krecké and continues to be developed by current minister Etienne Schneider.

Entin said at a meeting with the press on Friday that he thinks it was time to strengthen cooperation between Russia and the Grand Duchy for the benefit of smaller and medium-sized enterprises, as large companies already have sufficient funds to conduct their business.

Whether the 33 percent Cargolux share will go to a Russian investor, meanwhile, will depend heavily on the strategy of the freight airline, Entin said. It had been speculated early on that Russian airline Volga Dnjepr could be interested in the share; however, other airlines, for example from China, have since been rumoured as potential buyers.

Grand Ducal visit to Russia this year

A direct air link between Luxembourg and Russia for passenger transport, however, has not yet materialised, even though Schneider has frequently said he would welcome such the opening of this route.

Entin said that such a route would encourage economic, academic and cultural exchange between Russia and Luxembourg. Current visa regulations, which are managed by the EU, pose a problem to the venture, however, as well as the question of profitability.

A visit of the Grand Duke to Russia towards the end of the year could see announcements about new economic projects, Entin said.

In the meantime the Economy Minister has travelled to Russia earlier in March, following a Russian state visit to Luxembourg only last December.

Reporting by Wolf Von Leipzig