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Closer cultural ties agreed with Russia

Switzerland and Russia have signed an agreement that aims to boost cultural ties between the two countries.

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, in Moscow for a Council of Europe meeting, said the accord outlined collaboration in projects in the arts and the use of national archives.

Pro Helvetia foundation activities in Russia in particular will be given extra support.

The two countries shared a "great interest" in one another's culture, Russia's Culture Minister Alexander Avdejev said.

Couchepin noted that Russia had massive potential in the fields of science, culture and energy, and during his four-day visit to the country, also talked with counterparts about the possibility of further accords in science and research.

The interior minister was also one of the first foreign political figures to meet Patriarch Kirill since his installation as the new head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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