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Russia: Putin Hopes To Strengthen Economic Ties With Poland

Moscow, 20 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes to develop strong economic ties with Poland, which has a large trade imbalance with Russia. Opening a meeting with visiting Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller at the Kremlin, Putin said he hopes to set up a strong basis for the development of economic relations between the two countries.

The Polish prime minister was also expected to address Russia's major supplies of gas and oil to Poland, and the future of Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave that borders northeastern Poland.

Miller's foreign policy adviser Tadeusz Iwinski said earlier this week that Poland is hoping to boost economic activity with Russia, in part to reduce a trade deficit with Russia of more than $3 billion per year.

The Polish prime minister's visit comes ahead of Putin's scheduled visit to Poland in January.