Putin to discuss new Russia-EU agreement, energy with EC head
MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's president will discuss a new Russia-EU agreement and energy partnership with the head of the European Commission, the presidential press service said Friday.
Ahead of Vladimir Putin's meeting with Jose Manuel Barroso, the EC's office in Moscow quoted the head of the EU's executive branch as saying that Europe needed to develop more effective cooperation with Russia in the energy sector.
Europe and Russia are mutually dependent in energy terms, and cooperation in this and other sectors is of crucial importance, Barroso said.
Energy security, which Russia has set as a priority of its current presidency in the Group of Eight club of industrialized nations, was also on the table at Putin's meeting with G8 energy ministers on Thursday.
Putin said Russia was not only preparing specific energy initiatives for July's G8 summit in St. Petersburg but also working on ways to develop nuclear energy projects involving other countries.
Putin and Barroso are also expected to consider a new agreement on partnership and cooperation between Russia and the EU to replace the current agreement, which expires in 2007. Barroso said it is time to review the structure of further bilateral relations, and consider ways to establish closer and more effective cooperation.