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Putin, EU leaders to meet at summit in St Petersburg June 3-4

June 02, 2012, 23:25 UTC+3

It will be followed by a working luncheon that will traditionally focus on international issues

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MOSCOW, June 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders will meet at a summit in St. Petersburg on June 3-4.

Such summits are held regularly, every six months, and have a well established tradition and protocol, which will be observed this time too.

The EU delegation will be led by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. They will be joined by several high-ranking officials, incliuding by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“By tradition, Russia-EU summits consist of four events that divide the discussion into meaningful parts. The talks will start on June 3 at an informal dinner and will focus on global economic issues and the state of trade and economic relations between Russia and the EU, including efforts to overcome the consequences of the global financial crisis,” presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Saturday, June 2.

The leaders can also discuss “integration processes in the post-Soviet space, which the EU leadership pays increased attention”.

According to Ushakov, the official part of the summit will begin on June 4 with a plenary meeting that will be devoted entirely to bilateral issues of cooperation, which include the creation of common areas and work a new base agreement.

It will be followed by a working luncheon that will traditionally focus on international issues.

Ushakov expects the leaders to discuss North Africa, the Middle East, Syria, Libya, Iran’s nuclear programme, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

“We intend to reiterate our position of principle on the resolution of international conflicts, including unconditional supremacy of international law and the central coordinating role of the U.N. and its Security Council,” the aide said.

A press conference is scheduled after the summit.

According to the Kremlin, “relations between Russia and the EU develop quite dynamically and have the nature of strategic partnership”.

“The EU is Russia’s biggest trade and economic counteragent and accounts for about 50 percent of Russia’s foreign trade turnover. In 2011, trade turnover exceeded the pre-crisis level and reached about 394 billion U.S. dollars. For the EU, Russia is the third largest trade partner after the U.S. and China, with a share of about 9 percent,” Ushakov said.

He recalled that “Russia and the EU are actively involved in the development of common approaches to the strategy and tactics of dealing with the global economic crisis through both bilateral dialogue and in international organizations”.

“We are actively developing cooperation within the framework of the roadmaps launched in 2005 to create four common areas [economy; freedom, security and justice; external security; research and education, including cultural aspects],” he said.

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