Russian President to attend G-8 summit in Canada

On Tuesday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin will leave for Canada to take part in the G-8 summit. The forum to be held in the small mountain town of Kananaskis will be the 28th since the establishment of the "club of large industrial powers." For the first time in its history the forum will be attended by European Commission President Romano Prodi and Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, the incumbent chair country of the European Union.

The first day of the forum will be opened by a ceremony of taking pictures of the G-8 leaders. It will be followed by a session to discuss the fight against terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan and security of cargo and passenger transportation to the country.

Then the G-8 leaders will switch to economic issues. They are expected to discuss the steps to be taken to stabilise the world economic growth.

Another priority at the session will be preservation of the mechanism for co-ordinating interests within the WTO. According to Mr Illarionov, the Russian presidential economic adviser, the mechanism has come to face a threat as a result of US unilateral actions to impose limitations on steel imports from European countries and Russia.

The G-8 leaders will also consider the progress of arrangements for the global summit on the stable development of the third-world countries to be held in South Africa this August.

The first day of the summit will be crowned by a working dinner, at which the sides will discuss regional issues. It is envisaged to consider the crisis in Indian-Pakistani relations and the Middle East developments. Illarionov said Vladimir Putin would likely raise the issue of energy cooperation, in particular energy supplies to the world market.

The second day of the forum will be dedicated to African issues. Illarionov recalled that at the previous G-8 summit a decision was taken to set up a working group of the G-8 and African countries to work out a joint document on the development of the African continent. The authors of the document declared their aim to be securing a 15%-growth of the Gross Domestic Product in Africa over the next 15 years, Illarionov said. He reported that the plan would be at first discussed by the G-8 leaders only, then the UN Secretary General and the leaders of African countries will join the discussion.

The Russian presidential adviser reported that summing up the forum the G-8 working group would adopt a document on education, which stipulates the aim provision of the planet's population with free and qualitative primary education by 2015.

Illarionov added that Vladimir Putin would hold bilateral meetings with the G-8 leaders as part of the summit.

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