Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks on Monday with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva, who is in the Russian capital on a working visit.
The current trip of the Portuguese Foreign Minister will be his third visit to Moscow in this post. In recent years, regular contacts at the level of foreign ministers have been actively developing between the countries, but the pandemic has made its own adjustments.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during the briefing, the upcoming talks "are designed to help maintain positive dynamics in the political dialogue with Lisbon." She also said that the ministers will discuss the bilateral agenda in detail, as well as a wide range of international and regional issues.
Dialogue with the EU
Moscow has repeatedly noted that Lisbon is one of the most important European partners of Russia. Despite the fact that the dialogue between Moscow and Brussels is at an extremely low level today, relations between Russia and Portugal are still based on mutually respectful and constructive partnership. It is expected that one of the key topics of the talks between the ministers will be the discussion of the problems and prospects of relations between Russia and the EU, as well as the problems of relations between Russia and NATO, TASS reports.
"Taking into account the current six-month presidency of Portugal in the EU Council, it is planned to hold an open exchange of views on a wide range of international and regional issues," the Russian Foreign Ministry said ahead of the meeting.
In addition, an important part of the Portuguese minister's visit will be participation in the opening of a conference on Russia-EU relations together with Lavrov, organized by the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Portuguese Embassy and the EU Delegation in Moscow.
The Foreign Ministry said on the eve of the talks, the ministers also plan to discuss in detail the bilateral agenda and outline ways for the further development of Russian-Portuguese relations.
"When considering trade and economic issues, the main emphasis will be placed on more active use of the investment, research, and production potential of the two countries in the implementation of joint projects, taking into account promising developments of cooperation in the field of advanced technologies," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The countries also closely cooperate in the field of culture, and special attention in the negotiations will be paid to interaction in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties will touch upon the possibility of a bilateral cross-year of culture, education, science, and youth exchanges.
Air traffic resumed
Since May 25, Russia and Portugal officially resumed flights, which was interrupted last year due to the pandemic. However, at the moment its renewal is formal, and Portugal remains closed to tourists, with the exception of the island of Madeira. Therefore, it is obvious that the issue of resuming regular flights, as well as possible opening of tourist flows between the countries will also become separate points of the ministers' negotiations.
It was reported back in April that production of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine could begin in Portugal. In particular, pharmaceutical company Hikma announced it was ready to produce Sputnik or some of its components at its plant.
However, today the problem is the fact that the Russian vaccine has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency.