The US is not sending an official delegation to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that is taking place in Russia this week, only business representatives will attend the event, a US embassy spokesperson told RIA Novosti.
“There is no official US delegation from Washington and no high-level US Government speakers. The Embassy will have working-level representatives present as a resource to the US business community, whose representatives attend independently,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov told Russian media that the US delegation would become the largest at the SPIEF this year. The US embassy spokesperson specified that this concerns business representatives, not US officials.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is taking place at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Center in the Russian northern capital on June 2-5. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to participate in the plenary session of the forum.
The forum is being held with strict observance of COVID-19 safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, taking into account the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO). Overall, up to 20,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will include more than 100 discussions dedicated to various economic, social and technological subjects.
The SPIEF has been held since 1997. Last year, the forum was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, the umbrella media organization that includes such brands as Sputnik, RIA Novosti, InoSMI, and Baltnews, among others, is an official media partner of the event.