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Putin, Kostunica Meet In Sochi

3 June 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin today called for increased economic cooperation between Russia and Serbia and Montenegro.

Putin made his remarks at a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica at the Russian president's residence near the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

"Our trade turnover has surpassed the billion-dollar mark and is surely approaching $1.5 billion," Putin said. "That's why a meeting with Serbia's premier is a priority for me, bearing in mind the possibility of increasing our cooperation in all areas, especially in economy and trade."

Kostunica told Putin that Russia plays an important role in maintaining security in the Balkans.

The two leaders are discussing ways to deepen cooperation between their countries, including in trade and economics.

Russian media reports say trade between the two countries was worth more than $1.2 billion in 2003.