Putin, Chirac agree to time next G-8 summit to coincide with Russia-EU meeting

Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac have agreed to time the next summit meeting of the Group of Eight, which is scheduled to take place in France in 2003, so that it coincides with the forthcoming Russia-European Union meeting in an enlarged format.

According to Putin, who talked to journalists after the summit meeting in Kananaskis, the Russia-EU summit is likely to be held in St. Petersburg, a city that celebrates its 300th anniversary next year. Apart from the EU "Troika," the summit will involve presidents and prime ministers from European countries.

Putin also said he and the French president had agreed to time the French and Russian meetings to coincide so that prime ministers of Canada and Japan and the US president, whom the Russian leader invited to joint the St. Petersburg meeting, did not have to "bother about crossing the ocean."

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