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SOCHI, October 5. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will on Monday meet with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in the southern Russian resort of Sochi, the Russian cabinet reported.
Mevedev and Bettel will "discuss problems of bilateral cooperation in the trade-economic, investment spheres, in the sphere of high technologies, logistics and infrastructure, as well as separate issues of Russia-EU interaction with account for Luxembourg’s presidency in the European Union’s Council," the statement said.
Bettel will be in Russia on a working visit on an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, October 6, the Luxembourg premier will have a meeting with Putin, which is also expected to consider prospects of relations between Russia and the European Union and other "urgent issues on the bilateral and international agenda," the Kremlin press service reported earlier.
Luxembourg presides over the EU in the second half of 2015 as part of a traditional rotation.
Russia-EU relations are difficult due to the crisis in Ukraine, Europe’s sanctions against Moscow and countersanctions.
In July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed the hope that during its presidency, "Luxembourg will make a contribution to improvement of the situation in the EU and overcoming the decline in the dialogue between Russia and the European Union."
The Luxembourg premier said in late August that the EU and the Russian Federation need "a strategy of overcoming the crisis" around Ukraine. He said that in the current situation, "Europe loses, Russia loses, Ukraine loses," whereas "a cycle of sanctions and response measures causes damage to everyone."
For incorporation of Crimea after last year’s coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as claims that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.