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Trade top concern during rare Russian state visit

Second one in over 300 years

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Trade relations between Russia and the Netherlands were at the top of the agenda during President Putinís state visit recently. It was back in 1697 that a previous Russian leader last paid a state visit to the Netherlands, Czar Peter the Great. Amsterdamís mayor Job Cohen invited Putin to send a trade mission to the Netherlands next year. The Russian president affirmed that his visit would further strengthen interest shown by Dutch commerce to trade with and invest in Russia. Official Dutch statistics indicate that last yearís exports totaled 5.3 billion euros and imports in excess of 6 billion, while Dutch entrepreneurs invested some 5.3 billion euros in Russia, especially in the gas and oil industries. Putin put the first two figures combined at 16.5 billion euros however.