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Russia-EU Summit Opens Outside St. Petersburg

Russian President Vladimir Putin European (center) will welcome European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (right) and other EU leaders.
Leaders from the European Union and Russia are beginning a two-day summit outside St. Petersburg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso, as well as EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton and other senior officials.

Yury Ushakov, the Russian president's aide for international affairs, said the agenda for discussions included "efforts to overcome the consequences of the financial and economic crisis and current integration processes in the post-Soviet space."

Ushakov said there were also talks planned on the situations in Libya and Syria, Iran's nuclear program, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and other issues.

Ushakov said a proposal for a visa-free regime for Russian citizens to make short visits to EU countries would "undoubtedly" be part of the discussions.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax