Putin’s power games and climate-change energy issues set to dominate Lahti summit, with the arrival of Russia’s president set to conclude the Finnish summit.
European diplomats in Brussels have expressed concerns that the summit in Lahti could become a show of European disunity in regard to its relations with Russia, which has signed bilateral gas deals with several European countries such as Germany, which has been criticised for its bilateral deal with Russia to build a gas pipeline under the Baltic.
European diplomats have said that President Putin is unlikely to accept criticism of Russia and “would not take lectures from the Europeans in regard to human rights”, which is likely to lead to “very lively” discussions.
New member states from Eastern Europe favor a much tougher stand – Finland is also likely to raise the matter of tensions between Russia and Georgia, as well as the subject of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Meanwhile, British and Dutch Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Jan Peter Balkenende will be promoting climate change as the key issue, as they warn that the world is only 10-15 years away from “a catastrophic tipping point”.