Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khemaies Jhinaoui will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Monday, March 13, to discuss bilateral cooperation, particularly economic ties, ahead of a Tunisian-Russian commision meeting at the end of March. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in which it said: "The visit is in the framework of strengthening cooperation between the Republic of Tunisia and federal Russia relations, especially as countries are celebrating this year the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations." adding, "This visit will also allow further consultation and coordination on a range of mutual interest and regional and international issues." Before his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khemaies Jhinaoui had served as Tunisia's ambassador to Moscow from 2008 to 2011. The meeting between Foreign Ministers Jhinaoui and Lavrov, comes ahead of a Sixth session of the Tunisian-Russian joint commission scheduled for March 29-April 1. On January 16, after a Russian delegation with representatives from the Russian Federal Customs Services and the Russia-Tunisia Business Council met with Tunisia's Minister of Commerce Mohsen Hassen in Tunis, Russia announced it would lower tariffs on Tunisian agricultural exports by 25%. The Tunisian Ambassador to Russia, Ali Goutali, told Russia's Sputnik News earlier in March that Tunisia would consider replacing the U.S. dollar with Russian rubles for its transactions with Russia. In an interview with Russia's Sputnik news in Moscow, in early January meant to coincide with the Russian delegation's visit to Tunis, the Tunisian ambassador to Moscow, Ali Goutali, announced that Tunisair would look into restoring direct flights between Tunis and Moscow, Tunisair has since said it would begin offering the route in May. In January the Russian Ambassador to Tunis, Sergey Nikolaev also told Sputnik news that Russia was ready to up its bilateral security cooperation with Tunisia. Telling the Russian news website: “taking into account Russia and Tunisia’s long-standing relations and the common threats they face, Russia is willing to contribute to the Tunisian authorities’ counter-terrorism efforts.” adding “We discussed deepening cooperation, military relations, when I met Tunisia’s Defense Minister Farhat Horchani in September.” The meeting between Foreign Ministers Jhinaoui and Lavrov, comes ahead of a Sixth session of the Tunisian-Russian joint commission scheduled for March 29 to April 1.