Vladimir Putin to meet with Silvio Berlusconi

Cooperation between Russia and the European Union in the period when Italy will hold the rotating presidency in that organisation in the second half of 2003 will become, as is expected, the central theme at today's negotiations between Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi.

As RIA Novosti was told by a source in the Kremlin, Putin and Berlusconi will discuss "the possibilities of enriching the cooperation between Russia and the European Union with new forms and trends." "Special attention will be paid to preparing for the Russia-EU summit in November 2003 concrete agreements on raising the Russia-EU relations to a new level of strategic partnership," stated the Kremlin source.

The Chairman of the Italian Council of Ministers will pay a short working visit to the Russian Federation on July 29. According to the data of RIA Novosti, Berlusconi is expected to spend about three hours in Moscow.

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