During his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, President Putin of Russia invited him to visit Russia presumably at the end of the current year or early next year.
RIA Novosti learned from the Russian President's press-secretary Alexei Gromov, that the invitation had been accepted with gratitude. Apart from that, Koizumi said that he would be very pleased to take part in celebrations of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary in 2003.
Putin and Koizumi noted that there were some positive changes in trade and economic relations between the two countries, but admitted that trade between Russia and Japan was so far obviously insufficient.
Koizumi expressed the opinion that the holding of the G8 summit in 2006 in Russia reflected Russia's growing role in international affairs.
The two leaders also discussed the deepening of Russian-Japanese relations in the political sphere and issues of inter-Korean dialogue.
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