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3 May, 2017 00:14

Putin, Modi to join session hosted by NBC’s Megyn Kelly at St. Petersburg economic forum

Putin, Modi to join session hosted by NBC’s Megyn Kelly at St. Petersburg economic forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian PM Narenda Modi and other top officials will discuss ways of adapting to the challenges of the global economy in a plenary session of the international economic forum in St. Petersburg that kicks off on June 1.

The guests of the forum are expected to exchange opinions on key economic issues and discuss global trends at the 21st edition of the event, which is themed: “Achieving a New Balance on the Global Stage.” Former Fox News star and current NBC host Megyn Kelly was chosen as a moderator of an all-round discussion at the forum’s main session that is scheduled to be attended by both Putin and Modi, the forum’s organizer, Roscongress Foundation, said in a statement. 

Earlier in March, India’s Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran revealed that Modi is hoping to have a bilateral meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the forum.

“Yes, we hope that Putin and Modi will hold a meeting. Prime Minister Modi will be the guest of honor at the forum,” Saran told RIA Novosti.

In an interview with RT in January, when the preparatory work for the forum was already in full swing, the director of Roscongress Foundation, Aleksandr Stuglev, said that over 200 experts had been recruited by the organizers to work on a permanent basis on its program. Overall, about 1,000 people have been engaged in arranging the event, Stuglev said, adding that many of the guests who were present at the Davos World Economic Forum in January would come to St. Petersburg.

The topics on the events’ agendas will also partially overlap.

“There is no doubt that the participants at the Davos forum are among them and the program parts which are being discussed at Davos will be reflected in St. Petersburg as well,” Stuglev told RT.

READ MORE: Russian economy to grow 2% this year – economic development minister

In 2016, a total of 12,000 business representatives, political and economic leaders, members of foreign delegations, journalists and other guests hailing from 133 countries flocked to the forum. Over 300 events took place under its aegis, featuring 600 speakers and moderators. Over 40 Russian and over 60 foreign high-ranking officials, including Italy’s Prime Minster Matteo Renzi, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker and other dignitaries were among its participants.

Apart from being a platform for dialogue between representatives of global political and economic elites, the event also boasts a huge potential for deal-making. Last year, 356 deals were struck on its sidelines, with the sum of those that are not subject to commercial secrecy totaling over $17 billion.