Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Mexico on Monday for the first official visit by a Russian head of state. As reported by Vesti, Putin's scheduled visit to Mexico in 2002 was put off because of the tragic hostage-taking at the Theater Center on Dubrovka in Moscow. Putin's schedule for his few days here include talks with his Mexican counterpart, Vincente Fox, the signing of several agreements and meetings with journalists.
According to Kremlin sources, Mexico 'is treating the visit of the Russian president as a state occasion,' in view of the range of events that have been planned. Thus, the ceremonial greeting of Putin on Mexico City's Field of Mars, suggested by the Mexican side, is reserved for state, rather than official, visits. The same is true of the planned wreath-laying by Putin at the Monument to the Children-Heroes of Mexico.
International affairs and the role of the United Nations are expected to be major topics of the Putin-Fox meetings. Kremlin sources also indicate that the two leaders of leading oil-producing countries-neither a member of OPEC-will discuss the situation of the world's oil markets.