European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week during an economic forum in St. Petersburg, as reported by Reuters with reference to an EU spokeswoman.
Juncker will attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday and Friday of next week and will hold his first meeting with Putin since November of 2014.
The EC President has called for further cooperation with Russia and said in October that the EU’s stance towards Moscow should not be “dictated” by Washington.
The spokeswoman stressed, however, that Juncker’s visit would not change the EU’s position towards Russia.
“I find it very important to try, at least in economic questions, to move towards Russia. I can assure you there won’t be a softening of European positions in St. Petersburg,” the spokeswoman quoted Juncker as saying.
The EC President’s visit to Russia is sure to arouse discontent in the US and the EU among those who fear that Europe’s resolve in maintaining sanctions against Russia is weakening.