Upcoming Putin-Bush summit to focus on security issues

By Xinhua

Moscow : The upcoming Russian, U.S. presidents summit scheduled at U.S. President George W. Bush's residence in Kennebunkport on July 1-2 will focus on problems of security, Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters on Friday.

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"We would like to discuss problems that arouse Russia's concern, including problems of security, problems connected with START and U.S. plans in respect to ABM," Prikhodko was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

"Problems of security will naturally be in the focus of the summit, which is natural because the two countries bear special responsibility for maintenance of strategic stability in the world," Prikhodko said.

The two presidents will also discuss bilateral problems connected with cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, mutual investments, strengthening humanitarian contacts between the two countries and the people. Obviously, the two presidents will touch upon key regional problems not omitting Kosovo, the Middle East, and nuclear problems of Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Cooperation in the field of nuclear power engineering will be discussed as a separate problem on the agenda, Prikhodko said.

The two sides are expected to sign a number of documents that will help systemize steps taken in the key directions of bilateral cooperation, in particular, in peaceful use of atomic energy and activities in the START framework.

The coming Putin-Bush meeting is the 18th in a row since they got acquainted in 2001 and is their second meeting in 2007.

The two presidents will meet in a summer residence of the Bush family in Walkers' Point on the Atlantic coast not far from Kennebunkport. It will be an informal conversation between the two leaders in quiet surroundings free of official touch, which will help make the meeting very fruitful as Russians hope, Prikhodko said.

President Putin will arrive in Kennebunkport in the afternoon on July 1. On the first day of Putin's visit the two presidents are going to have an informal dinner attended by the presidential aides of the two countries and heads of the foreign ministries — Sergei Lavrov and Condoleezza Rice.

On the following day Putin and Bush will have talks whose results will be reported to journalists. The two presidents will continue the discussion at a working luncheon that will crown Vladimir Putin's visit to the United States. Then, the Russian president will fly to Guatemala.