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Putin Appeals For Calm In The Middle East


http://gdb.rferl.org/B2FC0665-EF9A-41CC-BED6-531CBBCC8565_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/B2FC0665-EF9A-41CC-BED6-531CBBCC8565_mw800_mh600.jpg Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) with U.S. President George W. Bush on the eve of the G8 summit (epa) July 17, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has appealed for calm in the Middle East amid the sixth day of fighting in Lebanon.


Speaking on the last day of a three-day summit in St. Petersburg of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized states, Putin said that "the main thing now is to stop violence, stop the growing confrontation, prevent the region from falling back into chaos, prevent a wider conflict, end the suffering of common people, give priority to political and diplomatic methods of settlement with the central mediating role of the United Nations."


Putin said Russia would consider contributing troops to an international peacekeeping force in the Middle East if the UN approved such a deployment.


Putin also said the G8 leaders had a "frank discussion" on democracy in Russia, energy problems, trade, education, and poverty.


(AFP, Reuters)

G8 Summit: St. Petersburg, July 15-17

A worker hangs G8 banners outside the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg (epa)

SITTING DOWN AT THE TABLE: On July 15-17, Russia hosts the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized countries in its northern capital, St. Petersburg. The event is a landmark in Russia's reemergence on the international stage after more than a decade of painful transition. In many ways, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the strongest and most confident of the leaders at the meeting, despite international concerns about the state of Russia's democratic development. Below are links to some of RFE/RL's reporting on the run-up to this major international event.

Confident Kremlin Prepares To Preside Over G8 Summit

G8 Foreign Ministers Meet To Map Out Summit Agenda

Opposition, NGOs Gather Ahead Of G8 Summit

Barroso Calls On G8 To Agree Global Energy Principles

G8 Presidency Spurs 'Exceptional' PR Response

MORE: Follow the coverage of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg in Russian on the website of RFE/RL's Russian Service. An archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Russia in English.

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