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MOSCOW, June 3 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and the European Union leaders will meet at the 29th Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg on June 3-4.
These talks take place regularly once in six months and have long-standing traditions and protocol that are going to be observed this time.
Yuri Ushakov, the Russian president’s aide, told journalists that Herman Van Rompuy, head of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, will lead the EU delegation. They are going to be joined by several other high-ranking EU officials, including Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
“Traditionally, Russia-EU summits consist of four events, which divide the whole discussion into semantic blocks. The talks will kick off at an informal supper in an atmosphere of trust and confidence on June 3. The Russian and EU delegations will discuss global economy, the situation in trade and economic sectors in Russia and the European Union, including ways of overcoming the consequences of global financial crisis,” the Kremlin spokesman said. He added that integration processes in the post-Soviet space which are a source of increased attention for the EU leadership might also be discussed during the supper.
Ushakov said that the summit’s official part would start with a plenary meeting early on June 4, Monday. It will be focused on bilateral cooperation. The topics will include the formation of common dimensions and work on a new base agreement. A working breakfast will follow. It will be traditionally devoted to international affairs. Ushakov expects the conversation to dwell on Northern Africa, the Middle East, Syria, Libya, Iran’s nuclear program and the situation in the Korean peninsula. The Russian president’s aide emphasized that Russia was going to reconfirm its position of principle to settling international conflicts, including unconditional supremacy of international law and the central coordinating role of the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council.
The summit will end with a news conference.
The Kremlin believes that Russia-EU relations are developing dynamically and can be described as strategic partnership.
The European Union is Russia’s biggest trade and economic partner. In 2011, the trade turnover topped the 2008 pre-crisis level amounting to approximately 394 billion dollars. Russia is the European Union’s third trading partner after the United States and China.
“Russia and the European Union are working out common approaches to the strategy and tactics of settling the global economic crisis both on a bilateral and international basis. They are actively developing cooperation within the ‘roadmaps’ launched in 2005 with an aim to form four common dimensions: the economy; freedom, security and justice; external security; scientific research and education, including cultural aspects,” the Russian president’s aide said.