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President Vladimir Putin arrived at Lancaster House
President Vladimir Putin arrived at Lancaster House, the cabinet’s residence, where the Russia-EU Summit will be held on Tuesday. The Russian president’s limousine drew up at the main entrance of the building at about 14.00 Moscow time. His talks with Chairman of the EU Council and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chairman of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, and Secretary-General of the EU Council, High Representative of EU for Foreign Policy and Security Javier Solana, will be held in the reception hall of Lancaster House. The Russia-EU Summit is designed to add new dynamism to the relations among the partners, an official of the British Prime Minister’s Office told Itar-Tass. We have agreed on a new concept of four common spaces during the latest EU-Russia meeting, he noted, adding that Britain was endeavouring, while chairing the EU, to turn those spaces into areas of interaction and cooperation, and to add new dynamism to the already solid EU-Russia relations. According to the Downing Street 10 official, the main attention at the Russia-EU Summit will be devoted to problems of trade, ecology and energy. He believes actions to counteract international terrorism will also be among the important problems, too. It is not by chance that Lancaster House was selected as the venue of this top-level forum. The gorgeous building next to Buckingham Palace has witnessed many important international events. Winston Churchill gave a luxurious banquet there in June 1953 on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The Suez Canal conference was held there in 1956, a conference on the Nazi gold – in 1997, and a conference on peace in North Ireland – in 1998. Luncheons were given in the musical hall of Lancaster House in 1998 during the G-8 foreign ministers meeting. Meetings were held there on the eve of the G-8 Summit in Glenseagle this year to draw up a program to ease the burden of the debts weighing down on the poorest countries of the African continent.
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