Romano Prodi is convinced Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg will strengthen established partnership

Chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi is convinced that the Russia-EU summit scheduled to take place on May 31st in St. Petersburg will further strengthen the earlier established partnership, an official spokesman for the European Commission stated on Wednesday in Brussels.

According to him, at the 11th Russia-EU summit the European side will be represented by heads of the EU member-states, Chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi, Secretary General of the EU Council and High representative of the European Union on foreign policy and security Javier Solana.

The summit will be held against the background of important events in Russia's interior and international life, the European Commission spokesman stressed. They are the referendum on the Chechen constitution, the Middle East development, signing of the agreement on ten new countries' joining the EU and the beginning of debates on the united Europe's future, he pointed out.

The summit participants will analyse Russia-EU relations in terms of political and economic cooperation, mutual responsibility in respect to the environment, justice and interior affairs. Besides, a number of international problems will also be on the agenda of the summit.

Brussels hopes that the summit will "open a new era in the parties' strategic relations," create "common territories" in terms of security, justice and interior affairs as well as economy, science and culture.

The St. Petersburg summit will also touch upon prospects of Russia joining the World Trade Organisation "on mutually acceptable terms." For example, Brussels expects to resolve the issue of European airlines' paying for flights over the Asian part of Russia.

Besides, creation of the common economic environment in Europe and Russia-EU energy dialogue will be the main focus at the summit, the European Commission spokesman reported.

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