Robert Gates to visit St. Petersburg

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is arriving in St. Petersburg on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Gates will deliver a speech in a naval academy. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov, who had invited him to the country, as well as with President Dmitry Medvedev.

Gates and Serdyukov will in particular discuss missile defense and regional and international security issues.

The visit will be Gates’ final trip to Russia as Pentagon chief as he is to retire in 2011, before 2012 election campaigns begin.

He said he wants to vacate his office this year so that a new minister could work with the current presidential administration before elections next year.



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