Having broken the ice over dinner last night it is down to business today for Russian and EU leaders seeking to put relations between the two sides on a new footing. The summit is the first encounter between new Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and the Union’s leadership.
They are trying to strike a deal on a partnership pact covering, energy, trade and long-term bilateral ties.
Europe relies on Russia for a quarter of its energy needs while the EU is Russia’s biggest trading partner.
The chilly Siberian oil town of Khanty-Mansiysk is the setting for a conference intended to bring a thaw in relations.
But there is already a cool trade wind blowing through the gathering.
Finland says it is considering retaliation for Russia increasing the duties it raises on timber exports. The tariffs have hurt paper producers in Scandinavia which imports its raw materials from Russia.