Russian President Vladimir Putin has addressed the St. Petersburg Economic Forum where he held meetings with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The talks went ahead on a day the EU extended sanctions on Russia, related to Crimea, to 2017.
The Russian president said:“The current geopolitical tensions have been also caused by the economic uncertainty and the depletion of growth resources.There is a risk, that these tensions might even be artificially provoked.”
Junkers visit to Russia comes shortly before EU member states are scheduled to make their decision on renewing anti-Russian sanctions on June 30.
Putin urged a resumption of Russian/ EU trade: “Following the recent meetings with the business representatives from Germany and France, the European business wants and is ready to cooperate with our country. Politicians should listen to business. Politicians should demonstrate how wise, far-seeing and flexible they are.”
Juncker is the first leader of an EU institution to visit Russia since sanctions were put in place in 2014.