To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans she has to increase the number of ministerial visits to Russia to improve relations with that country.
There were 15 ministerial visits to Russia in 2006, including my visit to Moscow in September. Russia's presidency of the G8 ensured a large number of ministerial visits and official contact during the year.
Russia remains an important partner in achieving the Government's International Strategic Priorities across a range of foreign policy issues. We shall look to take whatever practical opportunities arise to maintain direct productive contacts at ministerial level both here and in Russia. The most recent ministerial visit to Russia was by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, in February 2007.