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The President of the Republic participated in EU-Russia Summit

The President Arnold Rüütel and Russian President Vladimir PutinPresident Rüütel on Saturday participated in the Summit Meeting between Russia and the European Union that took place in St. Petersburg. The summit focused on the enlargement of the European Union and included in addition to the Member States also acceding countries.

The Estonian Head of State in his address emphasized the importance of protecting environment, including the Baltic Sea linking together many of the countries participating in the summit. President Rüütel welcomed that the International Maritime Organisation was tightening up tanker safety requirements and disapproved of cases where arguments based on economic calculations were given preference over environmental arguments. The Head of State wished that the activities directed towards sustainable development and preservation of healthy environment increasingly spread in the world and became one more positive example of shared views and deeds, too, of European countries.

Before and after the summit, President Rüütel had several conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin held in an unofficial atmosphere. The Heads of State during these meetings talked about historical and cultural contacts between Estonia and St. Petersburg, and also about possibilities to expand Estonian-Russian economic relations. The Estonian Head of State discussed the latter topic also with the Prime Minister of Russia, whereas, during the aforementioned conversations, both sides expressed interest in developing contacts.

The President and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel also attended the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg and thereafter, Sunday morning, left St. Petersburg for Sweden.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 1, 2003

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