Putin to Meet with Saudi Defense Minister and IAEA Head

The President will meet with the Saudi Defence Minister, the head of the IAEA, and other political leaders on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) with the Saudi Arabian Defence Minister, China's first vice-premier of the State Council, the Prime Minister of Mongolia and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as representatives of Russian business circles and the international investment community.

SPIEF will take place from June 18-20, and will be attended by various heads of state, political leaders, executives and top managers of major companies, leading experts and representatives of the Russian government, RIA Novosti reported. The motto of this year's forum is "Time to Act: joint efforts for stability and growth." In total, the Kremlin expects that representatives of 114 countries and about 7,500 vistors will attend the event.

Presidental aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters that a series of bilateral meetings will be held during the forum.

Ushakov told reporters that one of the highest profile meetings will be held between Putin and the Saudi Arabian Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday. "I imagine they will hold discussions on issues related to the situation in the Middle East, particularly Yemen and Syria. Questions of establishing closer economic cooperation, including in the energy sector, will also be addressed,” Ushakov said.

Mr. Putin will also hold talks with China's First Deputy Premier of the State Council Zhang Gaoli. "Talks will follow the standard theme - different aspects of bilateral relations, particularly in trade, energy, infrastructure modernization and, of course, on the eve of Ufa, questions relating to cooperation within the SCO and BRICS,” Ushakov added.

After that, Putin will meet with Chimediin Saikhanbileg, the Prime Minister of Mongolia. Ushakov said the talks would focus on trade and other economic issues.

Also on Thursday, Russia's president will meet with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. "Discussions will be centered around the current issues of the IAEA safeguards system, including the development of the organization, and the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program situation," Ushakov said.

The first St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was held in 1997 in the Tauride Palace. In 2001, the event was officially recognized as a major economic forum of the CIS.

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