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NOVO-OGAREVO, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Russia’s entry into the European Union is unrealistic.
“This prospect is unrealistic because of the country’s territory and economic set-up," Putin told members of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Thursday.
He said that Russia and the European Union should search for ways of rapprochement and use the synergy of combining the efforts of Russia and its European partners.
Putin is convinced that the European Union’s technological abilities should be combined with Russia’s advantages such as highly educated population, scientific achievements and considerable human and mineral resources. The president said that automobile industry was a positive example of Russia-EU cooperation. Foreign car-makers operating in Russia hire and train the local staff in split-second, Putin added.
However, such consolidation of efforts has been very slow in Putin’s view. Putin recalled how he had suggested join space navigation efforts with EU partners several years before.
“We have a complete grouping of 28 satellites. The Europeans have launched just five satellites. If the GLONASS and Galileo got united, they would have presented serious competition to GPS,” Putin said.
The Valdai International Discussion Club is an international framework for leading experts from around the world to debate on Russia and its role in the world. It was set up in 2004 by the RIA Novosti news agency, the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and Russia Profile magazine.
The club’s mission is to create an international framework, where representatives for the Russian elite could debate on the development of the country and its role in the world with leading foreign experts.
The club’s main goals are to create an international venue where foreign experts could receive information about Russia and Russian society from reliable sources; demonstrate the diversity of social and political views on key issues in domestic and foreign policies and finally give international experts an opportunity to meet top Russian leaders.
The club unites leading foreign experts and journalists who analyze Russia’s politics, economy and culture. Permanent international members form the club’s backbone. Different foreign experts are invited every year. Russian members include political scientists, economists, journalists, public figures and policymakers with different views on events in Russia and abroad, and also representatives of executive and legislative power.
The club owes its name to the location of the first meeting, which took place at the Valdai holiday hotel on Lake Valdai on September 2, 2004.