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Putin Hosts EU Leaders At Black Sea Resort

EU head Javier Solana (file photo) (AFP) May 24, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed to his Black Sea residence today European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Union High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel.

The guests arrived at the Russian leader's residence in the resort town of Sochi ahead of a summit tomorrow expected to be marked by discussions over Russia's role as a major energy supplier to the EU.

In an interview with the Interfax news agency, Solana hailed steps that he said would be taken to simplify visa procedures between Russia and the EU.

Solana said Russians coming to EU countries and EU citizens traveling to Russia "will find it cheaper and easier to get visas."

(AFP, Interfax)

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