Foreign Ministers of Russia and Nepal Sergei Lavrov and Pradeep Kumar Gyavali will hold talks in the Russian capital on Monday to consider ways to strengthen relations between Moscow and Kathmandu. The previous official visit of the head of the Nepalese Foreign Ministry to Russia took place in 2005.
“It is planned to discuss topical issues in bilateral relations, including deepening the political dialogue, increasing cooperation in the trade, economic, humanitarian and other fields, in particular in the tourism sector, as well as improving the bilateral legal framework,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
In discussing the international and regional agendas, the parties intend to pay special attention to deepening cooperation in international organizations, especially in the UN and its specialized agencies.
Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Nepal were established on July 20, 1956. A political dialogue is maintained between Moscow and Kathmandu, including at the highest level, contacts are being made between representatives of departments and parliaments. Interaction is ongoing in the UN, its specialized agencies and other multilateral structures, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which Nepal has the status of a dialogue partner. Since 1995, the mechanism of inter-MFA consultations has been functioning between the countries; their previous round was held in Kathmandu in April 2018.
In October 2019, the Nepalese delegation visited the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow. In June, representatives of the Federation Council visited the Nepalese capital; in July, deputies from Nepal participated in the Development of Parliamentarism forum organized in the Russian capital on the initiative of the State Duma.
Cooperation in the trade and economic sphere between the Russian Federation and Nepal has been carried out since the 1960s, when a number of industrial and infrastructure facilities were built in Nepal with the assistance of the USSR, including the Panauti HPP, several factories, roads and a hospital.
The volume of bilateral trade is still small. In 2018, it amounted to $ 9.1 million (Russian exports – $ 7 million, imports – $ 2.1 million).
According to the results of the first half of 2019, the growth of Russian-Nepalese trade turnover amounted to 5.5% compared to the same period last year. From Russia to Nepal, mainly food products are supplied. Tea, carpets, and leather raw materials are imported from Nepal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted ahead of the visit of the head of the Nepalese Foreign Ministry, the events of 2015, when a devastating earthquake occurred in Nepal, were a convincing confirmation of the strength of the bonds of friendship between the peoples of the two countries. Russia then sent a combined squad of rescuers and doctors to the natural disaster area, consisting of about a hundred people, and also became one of the sponsors of the resolution of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on providing urgent assistance to Nepal in May 2015.
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