Russian leader to make debut trips to Indonesia, Australia, UAE
( RIA Novosti ) - President Vladimir Putin will set out for a five-day tour this week to Indonesia, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, the first visits by a Russian leader in the history of relations with the countries.
Presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said Tuesday the president will arrive in Jakarta September 6. Accompanied by Russian government officials and businessmen, the leader will meet with the country's vice president and attend a Russian-Indonesian business forum.
Prikhodko said an agreement is expected to be signed during the talks on Russia's extending a $1 billion state loan for the South East Asian country to buy Russian military hardware.
Indonesia's Defense Ministry earlier said Jakarta was considering securing loans to buy six Sukhoi jet fighters, two Kilo-class submarines and nine helicopters of different kinds during 2007-2010.
The talks are also expected to result in intergovernmental agreements on mutual investment protection, fishing interaction, audit cooperation, memorandums of cooperation in energy, mining, sports and other sectors.
On September 7, Putin will arrive in Sydney, where he will meet with Prime Minister John Howard, Governor General Michael Jeffery and businessmen.
On September 8-9, the president will attend the 15th Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney.
After the summit, the president will head for the Middle East, where he will visit the United Arab Emirates, accepting the invitation of the country's president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan.
"Multifarious cooperation with the United Arab Emirates corresponds to Russia's long-term interests and helps enhance our positions in the Arab Muslim world," the aide said.
The visit will focus on developing bilateral trade and investment cooperation, primarily related to the oil and gas sector, energy, metallurgy, transport infrastructure, the introduction of advanced Russian technologies, military and technical cooperation, space, tourism and culture.
Prikhodko said Russian companies are taking great interest in large projects in the Middle East country, with which Russia has a commodity turnover exceeding $700 million.
The official said the international agenda of the talks will cover security problems in the Persian Gulf, the situation in Iraq and Palestinian territories, and Iran's nuclear dossier.