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Putin arrives in Brussels to discuss key aspects of Russia-EU ties

© RIA Novosti . Aleksei Druzhinin  / Go to the photo bankRussia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has arrived in Brussels to participate in the European Commission-Russia meeting and hold talks with the EU leadership.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has arrived in Brussels to participate in the European Commission-Russia meeting and hold talks with the EU leadership.

The talks are expected to focus on a new Russia-EU partnership agreement and Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as energy cooperation between Russia and the European Union.

The Russian delegation is comprised of senior Russian government officials, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.

Russia's EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said Monday the discussion between Putin and his European partners could be possibly "unpleasant," adding that talks on the new partnership agreement will not be completed until Moscow gains membership of the 153-nation global trade body.

The previous Russia-EU agreement expired in late 2007, but was automatically extended. Further negotiations were stalled over disagreements with Poland and then Lithuania in 2007-08. The Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 led EU leaders to freeze talks, which were resumed in December that year.

BRUSSELS, February 23 (RIA Novosti)

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