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Russia: Putin Arrives In London


London, 24 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in London for the first state visit by a Russian leader to Britain in about 130 years. Putin and his wife Lyudmila were greeted on arrival at Heathrow Airport by Prince Charles.

Queen Elizabeth is due tonight to host a state dinner for the Putins at Buckingham Palace.

President Putin and Prime Minister Tony Blair are expected to meet on 26 June for talks on ways to strengthen Russian-British relations and Russian energy supplies to Europe.

Putin's visit comes after Russia and Britain disagreed over the Iraq war. Blair strongly supported the U.S.-led invasion and committed British forces to coalition efforts. Putin opposed the war.

For more on Putin's visit to the United Kingdom, see Putin In Britain For First State Visit By Russian Leader In 130 Years

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