President Putin to Discuss Kaliningrad and Other Major International Issues with Italian Premier

Russian President Vladimir Putin will conduct talks with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy on Wednesday.

It has transpired that President Putin and the head of the Italian government are planning to discuss the Kaliningrad subject (Kaliningrad is Russia's enclave on the Baltic Sea), to exchange opinions on the situation around Iraq and also the prospects of the Mideast settlement.

It was reported from the Kremlin that the main task of the forthcoming meetings between Putin and Berlusconi is "to compare approaches to the most topical international and bilateral problems."

"Taking into consideration Italy's constructive approach to the formation of a truly united Europe with Russia's participation, it is planned to pay particular attention to European matters in the course of the forthcoming top-level talks," noted the Kremlin source. According to the source, the sides are expected to discuss the complex of issues connected with vital supplies of the Kaliningrad Region in the context of the enlargement of the European Union.

The Kremlin noted that on the wide range of topical problems the positions of Russia and Italy "are close or coincide." The main directions of cooperation in the international context include struggle against terrorism, strengthening of the foundations of the world order, the entire spectrum of European problems and settlement of regional conflicts.

According to information from the Kremlin, during the discussion of issues of bilateral cooperation, most attention will be devoted to the practical implementation of the vast complex of agreements reached at top level, including the preparations of the Russian President's state visit to Italy scheduled for the latter half of 2003.

Italy is one of Russia's leading European partners, the political dialogue with whom, including at summit level, has in the past few years acquired a meaningful and many-sided nature, noted the Kremlin source.

The forthcoming Russian-Italian summit confirms the dynamic and trustful nature of the bilateral dialogue, pointed out the Kremlin source.

The coming meeting between the President of Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Italy will be the fourth one in the current year alone.

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