Putin, Bush to discuss international policy & bilateral relations

The Putin-Bush negotiations in St. Petersburg are to feature the key issues of international policy and bilateral relations. According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, Deputy Head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Prikhodko said as much at a briefing with journalists.

In his words, the meeting between the US and Russian leaders is a landmark event in bilateral relations. Prikhodko said that a very serious and busy program had been prepared for the event.

Sergei Prikhodko remarked that the joint work of Russia, America and members of the UN Security Council over Resolution 1411 related to the international weapons inspections in Iraq, had been a serious test.

"We expect," Prikhodko said, "the contacts between the presidents, the foreign ministry and the Security Council to help coordinate stances on anti-terror and gain an insight into foreign partners' practical understanding of this problem." Prikhodko hopes the two countries' leaders will be able to exchange opinions on the results of NATO's summit in Prague. According to him, Russia expects the agreements that were achieved at the Rome summit of 20 and that laid a firm basis for Russia-NATO co-operation will take a clearer shape. In particular, Prikhodko remarked, this refers to European security issues, and the threats and challenges of the 21st century.

Experts have prepared a set of trade and economic initiatives for the meeting between the two leaders. Sergei Prikhodko added that expansion of the volumes and structures of Russia-US trade and economic co-operation was tightly connected with Russia's accession to the WTO.

To quote Prikhodko, the Putin-Bush meeting will possibly touch upon the fight against international terrorism and the situation in the Middle East.

Prikhodko emphasised that the current level of trust and mutual understanding between the two heads of state "allows us to openly discuss our achievements and common approaches as well as issues of discord." He also remarked that the good human relations between Bush and Putin "are a very serious and substantial additional resource for co-operation and a good example for interaction between ministries and agencies."

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