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BRUSSELS, December 14 (Itar-Tass) — President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation is to arrive here on Wednesday night to attend the 28th summit of Russia and the European Union (EU). Discussions at the summit are to focus on prospects for visa-free arrangements, energy-related matters, the Euro zone crisis, as well as international problems of current concern, including the situation in Iran, Syria, and Kosovo.
The Russian Head of State, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, are to have an informal working dinner here on Wednesday, whereas the main working programmme for discussion is scheduled for Thursday, December 15 when a working session, a final news conference, and Medvedev's and Van Rompuy's meeting with members of Russian and European business communities are to be held.
This will be Medvedev's second visit to Brussels. Exactly one year ago -- in December 2010-- he led a Russian delegation to the Russia-EU summit. These meetings at summit level are held twice a year: in Russia in May-June, and in Europe in November-December. Previously Russia-EU summits were held at the end of the year in a country that was presiding in the EU at the moment. However, following the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which assigned foreign policy relations to the jurisdiction of European institutions, the summits have been held in Brussels.
Within the context of bilateral relations between Russia and the EU, the sides will review the process of negotiations on a new basic agreement on cooperation. Participants in the meeting are to devote much attention to matters concerning the energy sector and the forhcoming entering into force of a "third energy package". Serious differences between Russia and the EU over that package are still persisting.
It is expected that a political go-ahead will be given to the implementation of the List of Joint Moves to prepare for a transition to visa-free arrangements.