ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia, Russia set to expand economic and trade ties
The visit, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of Malaysia-Russia diplomatic relations, is significant as it will provide the opportunity for the two countries to also expand their cooperation in education, energy, scientific and high-tech.
The two countries are also expected to discuss international issues including developments in Iran and North Korea and matters related to Asean and the East Asia Summit.
He will also hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at the White House, near Kremlin, on the same day.
Later, Putin will host a dinner in honour of Abdullah at the Kremlin. The prime minister will also meet Malaysian students in Russia.
On the third day of his visit, Abdullah will be conferred the "Doctor Honoris Causa", a honorary doctorate degree by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
The 200-member delegation from Malaysia includes Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and 80 members from the private sector are also in the delegation.
It has a population of about 144 million people. Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Russia started in 1967 since the Soviet Union era. Malaysia declared its recognition of the Russian Federation as the successor of the Soviet Union on Dec 31, 1991.
Both countries maintained political dialogues, regular exchange of messages at the highest level and between heads of the foreign ministries on current bilateral issues and the most urgent international problems.
Last year, total trade turnover between Malaysia and Russia was about US.133 billion. The trade balance is in Malaysia's favour.
Primarily, Malaysia exports electrical and electronic household appliances, palm oil and palm oil products, plastics, cocoa powder and cocoa butter to Russia.
Electrical and electronic appliances from Malaysia are regarded as quality products by the Russians.
Malaysia's imports from Russia are chemical fertilizers and other chemical products, rolled metals, metal products, machines and equipment.
Both countries also work together in the promotion of scientific and technical ties and it has, among others, resulted in seeing the first Malaysian micro-satellite orbited by a Russian launcher in September 2000.
In December last year, the "MEASAT-3" satellite was also launched by a Russian rocket.
Malaysia is to send its first astronaut to the international space station in October under the Malaysian-Russian space cooperation project. PNA/Bernama