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Medvedev's Remarks Could Signal Attempt to Ease East-West Tensions
On the eve of the EU-Russia Summit and this weekend's G20 economic meeting of heads of state in Washington, D.C., President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev pledged support for greater international cooperation in business and the "prevention" of protectionism and isolation in East-West relations.
In his keynote address to 300 delegates attending the 10th annual EU-Russia Industrialists' Round Table conference in Cannes, France, Medvedev acknowledged an IRT proposal for "internationally coordinated transparent government action" and said he would instruct the Russian Government "to take into serious consideration the IRT's recommendations."
Medvedev dismissed suggestions that there was a crisis in relations between Russia and the West over the recent military confrontation in Georgia, and he said he would meet with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama "very soon." Leaders at the conference said Medvedev's remarks could signal an attempt to ease East-West tensions.
Addressing the worldwide economic situation, the IRT released a statement that read: "The current crisis calls for internationally coordinated transparent government action. Protectionism and isolation must be prevented. The EU and Russia should set an example and work closely together."
The EU-Russia Industrialists' Round Table conference is an annual meeting of business leaders that encourages cooperation and fosters ongoing dialog on the complex official relations between the EU and Russia.
Set against the background of the international financial crisis, this year's event was organized by Kellen Europe, which coordinated logistics and security, and provided guidance to many political emissaries and business leaders in attendance. Located in Brussels, Kellen Europe is an association and meetings management arm of the U.S.-based Kellen Company, which has offices in New York, Atlanta, Tucson, Washington, D.C., and Beijing.
"With all that is happening in the economic crisis today, this event was very exciting, and an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our capability in managing meetings of global importance," said Michel Baumgartner, Kellen Europe's Meetings Manager.
The round table conference was led by Nils Andersen, chief executive of Moller-Maersk, the Danish transport group, and Anatoly Chubais, head of Rusnano, the Russian government's nanotechnology enterprise. Other keynote speakers included the European Union's Vice President and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Gunther Verheugen, and the Russian Federation's Minister for Industry and Trade Victor Khristenko.
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