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MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday begins his two-day working trip to Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg, where he will take part in the Petersburg International Economic Forum and have a series of bilateral meetings on its sidelines.
Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists the president would have a busy programme in St. Petersburg. "He will have contacts all through the day on June 18 and 19," he said.
Putin plans to have a meeting with Russian businessmen on Thursday, Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said, adding that about 200 people had been invited. After this meeting, the president will have a working lunch with representatives of the international investment community. Ushakov said participants would include representatives of investment funds from many world countries, including France, Great Britain, India and others.
As for bilateral contacts, Putin’s programme includes a meeting with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Among topics for discussion will be issues of cooperation between the two countries, including in the energy sector. Ushakov did not say however whether oil prices would be among such topics. He said that co-chairmen of the Russian-Saudi intergovernmental commission were planned to meet on the sidelines of the forum. The meeting, he added, was expected to yield a number of documents.
Also on Thursday, the Russian leader will meet with China’s Executive Vice Premier of the State Council Zhang Gaoli to discuss bilateral cooperation in trade, energy sectors, in the sphere of modernization of infrastructure and cooperation within such formats as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS (an acronym standing for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
Putin will also meet with Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg to discussion issues of the bilateral agenda, regional and international problems.
Apart from that, the Russian President is expected to meet with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano to discuss the development of the system of IAEA guarantees, and the Iranian nuclear programme.
On Friday, Putin will speak at a forum’s plenary session dedicated to economic problems. After delivering a speech, the president will answer questions. On the same day, the Russian leader will meet with CEOs of biggest foreign companies. It is expected that the meeting will be attended by about 50 world’s leading businessmen. Apart from that, the president will meet with heads of international news agencies.
Bilateral contacts planned for June 19 include a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev, former Prime Ministers of Italy and France, Romano Prosi and Francois Fillon, and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden.
Putin’s plans for Saturday, June 20, include no meetings within the framework of the Petersburg International Economic Forum, Peskov said. "The entire working programme linked for the forum will be over on Friday by midnight. On Saturday, Putin will have several working meetings not linked with the forum," he said.