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Syrian situation to be discussed on the G20 summit

September 02, 2013, 11:20 UTC+3

While the current agenda is largely dedicated to economic issues, burning points like the Syrian crisis will not be avoided, Russian officials say

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Though the G20 summit slated for September 5-6 was originally planned to be dedicated to economic issues, other international matters may take over at the forum in St. Petersburg, the government's Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily notes.

When the world community's attention is focused on the Syrian situation, it is quite natural to expect this problem to be the focal point of the discussion between G20 leaders. Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov noted that the Syrian issue was not on the agenda so far, but the leaders were expected to discuss the situation in the country during bilateral meetings on the summit's sidelines.

Russian G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudayeva, who heads the presidential expert office, told the daily that G20 leaders would adopt a final communique and ten to twelve annexes to it. Prior to this, the heads of state and government will have rather extensive talks. The agenda includes financial stability of the Group of 20, sustainable economic growth models, reduction of debt burden and conditions to attract investments. Attention will be paid, in particular, to transparency of taxation and the plan of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on this issue. The leaders are expected to approve the current plan, Yudyeva said.

She confirmed that head of the Committee for Civic Initiatives, ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin would appear at the summit. He plans to participate as an expert. He will meet with G20 finance ministers and present a report to them.

Aside from main G20 events, Vladimir Putin will also have a number of bilateral meetings on the summit sidelines. For the time being, talks in such a format between Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama are not planned. "The Russian leader, naturally, will greet Obama, shake hands with him, and then, we'll see," Ushakov said. "Their separate meeting is not scheduled. However, during the summit, they will have many opportunities to talk," he added.

The planned broader-format bilateral meetings of Vladimir Putin, which are already scheduled, clearly show the Asian vector. The Kremlin attaches great importance to the meeting of Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping. "It will be a full-scale contact of our leaders, during which bilateral and international problems will be discussed," Ushakov explained. First of all, it will relate to the implementation of the agreements reached during the state visit of the Chinese president to Russia in March this year. Then, Putin will have meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Europe on the bilateral agenda of the Russian president will be represented by Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Meanwhile, before the summit, traditionally, a meeting of BRICS leaders will be held on September 5. The meeting will sum up the results of the joint work in accordance with the program and the priorities of the Russian G20 presidency, Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes.

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