Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Centre) is to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) next week, where he will also meet with Russian Minister of Transport Yevgeny Dietrich.
Last week, Aas invited Dietrich to discuss continuing the work of the bilateral transport committee established by the two countries' respective ministries, as well as bilateral railway and road agreements and the development of passenger rail transport. He also invited the Russian minister to discuss bringing transit to Estonian and Russian infrastructures.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications confirmed Aas' participation in SPIEF, which will take place from June 6-8. Ministry spokesperson Rasmus Ruuda told ETV's Russian-language "Aktuaalne kaamera" that Aas is scheduled to meet with the Russian minister next Thursday.
Aas is currently on a three-day visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
"Estonia's primary interests are the transit of Kazakhstan's oil products, bulk cargoes and grain via our transit corridor and its brokerage to Scandinavia, the establishment of a distribution center for online commerce, and development of the China-Kazakhstan-Estonia container rail route," the Estonian minister said on Thursday.
First to attend since annexation of Crimea
This February, an invitation was extended by Anton Kobyakov, adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, to then-Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre) to attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Last year, SPIEF was attended by 17,000 people from 143 countries. The last Estonian minister to participate in the forum was former prime minister and current member of the European Court of Auditors Juhan Parts, who attended the event while serving as Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications in 2013.
Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the war in Eastern Ukraine, the economic forum has been boycotted by a majority of EU leaders.
Editor: Aili Vahtla