A summit between Russia and the European Union gets underway today with a number of issues straining relations between the two. While Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel smiled for the world’s press as they met in Samara last night, the clouds hanging over relations between the EU and Moscow, have been described by some as the worst since the cold war.
Russian opposition figures want the EU to pressure Putin to be more democratic. But figurehead Garry Kasparov doubts demonstrators will be allowed near the summit to press their case.
“We don’t doubt that the number of riot troops will be much greater than the number of demonstrators,” he said.
Many protesters are being prevented from travelling to the area, and the opposition’s previous attempts to demonstrate have been supressed by security forces.