Vladimir Putin meets with Czech President Vaclav Klaus

On Saturday, Vladimir Putin is expected to meet with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who arrived in Moscow on a routine visit.

It is the second visit of Vaclav Klaus to Russia after he was elected President of the Czech Republic on February 28, 2003. At the end of May, Vaclav Klaus visited St. Petersburg and participated in the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Russian "northern capital." Earlier, Mr. Klaus visited the former Soviet Union and Russia on numerous occasions, including an official visit as the Czech Prime Minister in spring of 1994.

Mr. Klaus stands for the development of closer ties with the Russian Federation, he announced in the interview with RIA Novosti correspondent on the eve of his visit to St. Petersburg in May.

"We realize that due to objective and understandable reasons, after 1989 our political relations have not been very intensive," Mr. Klaus pointed out. However, "at present, the situation has stabilised somewhat, and with the emergence of new generation of politicians in Moscow, Russian-Czech contacts are becoming more and more active. I am willing to support such a development personally." Receiving Russian Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov in the beginning of October this year, the Czech President emphasised that "Czech republic closely follows the development of the situation in Russia and notices a number of positive changes in the country." Mr. Klaus also believes that the relations between Russia and the Czech republic are developing dynamically and positively at present." "I am looking optimistically at the future of Russian-Czech relations and I believe that they will follow the rising path," he said.

The program of Mr. Klaus' visit includes the trip to the Finance Academy under the Russian government where he will be handed the diploma of an honorary doctor of sciences of this prestigious Russian institution of higher education. On Sunday, November 2, the Czech President will meet with editors-in-chief of leading Russian mass media. In the second half of Sunday, Vaclav Klaus and his spouse will return to Prague.

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