The Prime Minister of Ireland, which presides in the European Union over the January-June 2004 period, the Foreign Minister of Ireland, European Commission President Romano Prodi, as well as EU commissioners Pascal Lamy and Chris Patten have arrived in the Russian capital. All of them will take part in the Russia-EU summit.
Talking to RIA Novosti, a source inside the presidential administration noted that the summit's agenda was something traditional. The sides will negotiate in the Kremlin, subsequently holding a working breakfast. A press conference will take place afterward.
According to RIA Novosti's interlocutor, the sides will compare their positions, for openers, discussing specific objectives, which have been accomplished in the wake of the November 2003 Russia-EU Rome summit.
Our relations were tested for strength since November 2003 because the EU expanded from 15 to 25 members by May 1, 2004, the source noted. We managed to remove many concerns as regards Russia-EU relations before this summit, he went on to say.
Vladimir Putin will analyze Russian developments in line with a long-standing tradition, with EU leaders informing the Russian side about the EU situation, the EU inter-governmental conference, as well as efforts to finalize the expanding EU's constitution, yet another Kremlin source noted.
Topical international issues, including the non-proliferation of mass-destruction weapons, the Iraqi situation, the Afghan situation, the Mideastern peace settlement, the Cypriot situation and other aspects, will be discussed, as well.
According to the source, the summit's agenda doesn't call for discussing the situation in Georgia and Chechnya. Talking about Chechnya, RIA Novosti's interlocutor said Moscow was prepared to discuss this issue, if the EU were interested in it; we are going to answer any possible questions, he stressed.
No special statements are to be passed, after the summit winds up. According to the source, subsequent Russia-EU summits should not feature any crucial statements and loud sensations whatsoever, this should become a rule, rather than an exception, he noted.
Nonetheless, a joint document dealing with Russia's projected World Trade Organization (WTO) membership might be endorsed within the summit's framework, the agency's interlocutor added, linking this aspect with the results of talks involving Russia's Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref, as well as Pascal Lamy.
In his words, the summit won't discuss the Kyoto protocol's ratification by Russia either. Previously, the EU voiced its intention to raise this issue during the summit. The summit's agenda doesn't stipulate the Kyoto protocol, the source noted.
Talking about a link between Russia's WTO membership and the ratification of this document, the agency's interlocutor noted both issues were not linked directly. This has nothing to do with the Kyoto protocol, If the EU removes its reservations concerning Russia's admission into the WTO, this will have nothing to do with the Kyoto protocol, the source said in conclusion.