President Putin Invites EU Leaders to St. Petersburg's Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invite the leaders of European Union countries to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told participants of the European Conference in Athens.

Peter the Great, the founder of a city that would become Russia's "window on Europe," had a dream to invite "every flag and nation" to St. Petersburg, recalled the minister. He said that leaders of many countries, including countries of the European Union, would be gathering in the city in the late of May.

"We hope the celebration of St. Petersburg's anniversary becomes a symbol of European unity and gives a new incentive to the 'European idea'," stressed Ivanov.

On Wednesday, ten new countries - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia - joined the EU and the European Conference by signing an agreement in Athens.

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