Comment by the Information and Press Department on Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn’s visit to Moscow

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Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn will be on a working visit to Moscow on September 13.

The agenda, in the talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, will be the state and development prospects for cooperation between Russia and Luxembourg on the resolution of pressing international issues. The dialogue on current issues will include a review of the relations between Russia and the European Union, developments in Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the fight against international terrorism and other challenges facing the world today. Russia and Luxembourg support the supremacy of international law and recognise the importance of international organisations and institutions in a multipolar world and the decisive role diplomacy plays in resolving conflicts and crises.

The foreign ministers will take a close look at the two countries’ cultural and humanitarian ties, which continue to progress, and will examine the implementation of bilateral cooperation programmes in science, education, culture, mass media, youth exchanges, sports and tourism for 2015 through 2018. New projects continue to enrich these programmes.

Bilateral relations have continued to progress in a diverse range of areas over recent years. The two countries maintain a high- and top-level political dialogue. Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel held talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on October 5-6, 2015.

Luxembourg is an important trade and economic partner for Russia. Bilateral trade over the first half of 2016 increased 9.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2015 and came to $80.8 million. Russian imports from Luxembourg increased 22.5 per cent and totalled $59.3 million. Luxembourg is one of the biggest foreign investors in Russia (after Cyprus and the Netherlands). Total Luxembourg direct investment in Russia came to $41.1 billion at the end of 2015, and Russian investment in Luxembourg was $15 billion.

Russia and Luxembourg have a long history of friendly ties and this year we will mark the 125thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy. Next year brings another symbolic date, the 150th anniversary of the London Conference, which laid the foundations of Luxembourg’s modern statehood. Russia played a prominent role in this process and it was thanks to Russia’s insistence that the final document included the provision on Luxembourg’s permanent neutrality under the collective guarantee of the conference participants. This treaty guaranteed Luxembourg’s independence and sovereignty and brought it long years of peaceful development and prosperity.