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City news, 02.06.2003 14:57

EU-Russia summit was held in St. Petersburg on May 31

EU-Russia summit was held in St. Petersburg Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a warm welcome to the EU leaders who gathered in St. Petersburg for the EU-Russia summit which was held on May 31. The summit took place in the St. Petersburg suburb of Strelna. The Russian delegation to the summit included Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders who arrived in St. Petersburg for the city's 300th anniversary celebrations visited St. Isaac's Cathedral on May 31 and later moved on to the Mariinsky Theater. The theater hall was occupied with world leaders, including leaders of the CIS. Other top members of the Russian government were also present. World leaders sat in the fifth row. Putin sat next to Gerhard Schroeder. Across the aisle sat British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac. Before the beginning of the concert the hall sat in great anticipation. The world leaders glanced at their tickets, looked for their seats and politely let one and other through. After taking their seats, they quietly talked amongst themselves.

In the gala concert 'St. Petersburg 300 Years', world famous opera singers, Mariinsky theater soloists and ballet dancers: Olga Borodina, Rene Fleming, Dmitry Kvorostovsky, Anna Netrebko, Vasily Gerello, Nikolai Putilin, Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishnyova, Farukh Ruzimatov, Svetlana Zakharova and Igor Zelensky performed. Maestro Valery Gergiev directed the Mariinsky theater orchestra.

All the participants in the EU-Russia summit have been captivated by the beauty of St. Petersburg. At the summit all the leaders stressed that they share Russians' pride in such a beautiful city. French President Jacques Chirac called St. Petersburg the most beautiful city in the world. Slovak President Rudolf Schuster believes that St. Petersburg's successful development is a foundation for the successful development of the partnership between Russia and the EU. The guests also thanked Russia for the summit's wonderful organisation.

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(c) 2000