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MOSCOW, November 12 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in a Russia-European Union summit in December, press secretary to the president Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, commenting on media reports citing anonymous sources in the European Union that allege that Putin was not planning to go to Brussels.
“This information published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily has nothing to do with the real state of things,” Peskov said. When asked whether the president’s schedule features a visit to Brussels, he answered in the positive.
Moscow comes to the December summit “with understanding of the seriousness of the situation both on the global scale and in the European Union, and specifically in the euro zone,” Russia’s ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said earlier. According to Chizhov, the summit will dicuss both the general economic situation and “our tasks with a special focus on Russia’s presidency in the Group of Twenty, which starts in November.” The summit will obviously assess the pace of the dialogue on visa-free travels between Russia and the European Union, he noted. The situation in this sphere, in his words, is still complicated although some practical steps have already been taken. Another subject for discussion at the Russia-EU summit will be the situation with human rights. Other topics will be cooperation in crisis regulation, which lacks a solid legal basis since the current partnership agreement was signed as far back as 1994 when the European Union had no missions, functions and a policy in the defence and security sphere. Special attention will be paid to the so-called “third energy package,” a stumbling block in energy relations between Russia and the European Union and a reason for the European Commission’s formal antimonopoly investigation against Russia’s Gazprom. Preparations for the summit are in full swing, Chizhov noted. So far, inn his words, it is too early to say which documents are to be signed at the summit.