Algeria urges Russia to step up economic ties

Published April 5th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Russia and Algeria should boost their economic ties, which had not advanced sufficiently despite mutual efforts, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said Wednesday, April 4. 

 

Algeria would welcome Russian investments and technologies in developing its oil and gas industry and energy grid, Bouteflika told a group of Russian businessmen. 

 

"We do not wish to remain a mere exporter of raw materials," Bouteflika said as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency. The president also pledged to return Algeria's debt to Russia, estimated to be over four billion dollars. 

 

According to Arkady Volsky, head of Russia's union of entrepreneurs, trade between the two countries had tripled over the past three years, especially in metal production, transport and technical equipment. 

 

Bouteflika arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for a three-day official visit devoted mainly to discussions on economic and defense issues. Bouteflika and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin signed a strategic partnership agreement on Wednesday. 

 

The agenda of talks included military cooperation, involving arms sales that were worth 600 million dollars over the past three years. — (AFP, Moscow) 

 

© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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