MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate in a large number of events at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which include meetings with foreign leaders, big companies’ CEOs, investment funds chiefs and heads of international news agencies, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.
According to him, "the May 25 plenary meeting will be the forum’s central event, drawing media attention from across the world." Ushakov added that around 3,500 people had been invited to the meeting, while that such sessions usually lasted about three hours. "I think this time the event will be no less interesting," the Kremlin aide said, pointing out that apart from Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan were also expected to address the meeting.
"They will deliver their prepared speeches, which will be followed by a discussion," Ushakov said, adding that Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait would moderate the meeting. "The leaders will answer questions by the moderator and the audience," the Russian presidential aide said.
Ushakov went on to say that Putin was set to hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the SPIEF (the main Russian-Japanese talks will take place in Moscow on May 26). In addition, the Russian president is planned to meet with President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadera, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, as well as to hold a brief conversation with President of Bosnia and Herzegovina’ Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik.
Putin will also hold a number of meetings with businessmen during the forum. In particular, he is expected to meet with members of the Russian Direct Investment Fund’s International Advisory Board and international investors. Together with Macron, Putin will take part in a meeting with representatives of Russian and French business circles, as well as with participants in the French-Russian Civil Society Forum dubbed Trianon Dialogue. The Russian president’s agenda also includes conversations with CEOs of big foreign companies and heads of business associations.
"Putin will also talk with chiefs of international news agencies," Ushakov said.
He added that a concert directed by Valery Gergiev would take place in the St. Petersburg suburb of Tsarskoye Selo on May 25.