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Zeman to meet Gorbachev, Medvedev, Putin in Russia

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Prague, Nov 14 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman will meet Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev during his visit to Russia next week, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told journalists on Tuesday.

The Czech Presidential Office announced previously that Zeman would start his visit to Russia by a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Zeman is to arrive in Sochi on Monday, November 20, and meet Putin there on Tuesday. Negotiations between Czech and Russian delegations will also be held within this meeting, Ovcacek said.

On Wednesday, Zeman is to attend the opening of a business forum in Moscow. He will have lunch with Gorbachev whom he was to meet in Prague in September 2016, but Gorbachev, 86, cancelled his trip to the Czech Republic for health reasons then. Zeman’s talks with Medvedev are to be held afterwards.

On Thursday, Zeman is to fly to Yekaterinburg where another forum of Czech and Russian entrepreneurs is to take place on Friday. He will also meet governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, pay respect to the fallen Czechoslovak legionaries at their memorial and visit a plant in which Czech L-410 aircraft are assembled.

Zeman will be accompanied by representatives of 129 Czech firms, which will be the biggest Czech business delegation going abroad in the past 25 years, according to the Czech Confederation of Industry.

Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynar told CTK that further Czech entrepreneurs would take part in only one of the forums. He said representatives of approximately 150 companies would go to Russia in connection with Zeman’s visit.

The trade with Russia has been limited by the sanctions the EU and the USA imposed on Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and its approach to the conflict in the east of Ukraine.

Zeman has repeatedly spoken against the sanctions, calling them pointless.

Zeman’s programme in Moscow is to include the opening of an exhibition presenting Prague Castle’s treasures, including precious fabrics related to Saint Ludmila and Czech queens. The skull of St Ludmila is to be displayed in one of Moscow churches.

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