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Harper, Abe discuss trade and Russia at nuclear summit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes part in a Q and A session in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday, March 24, 2014.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stephen Harper is at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague today to meet with various officials at an event largely overshadowed by the crisis in eastern Europe.

The prime minister met with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, on the second day of the summit, which is focused on ensuring the globe's nuclear materials cannot be acquired by terrorists.

The two leaders discussed trade and touched on the G7's concerns about the Russian crisis. Both Canada and Japan are in the G7, and Japan is Canada's fourth-largest trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade exceeding $24-billion in 2013.

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Harper was slated to meet later in the day with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

The prime minister's appearance at the summit comes the day after G7 leaders announced they had essentially booted Russia out of the G8 due to its recent annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

There are 53 world leaders in this pristine European capital punctuated by several picturesque canals and ponds and boasting a deer sanctuary in the middle of town. Young bucks are frequently seen bashing antlers playfully as residents of The Hague speed by on bicycles on their way to work.

At the end of the day, the prime minister will make a statement to mark the conclusion of the nuclear summit.

On Wednesday morning, he heads to Germany for two days.

His agenda there will include a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The situation in eastern Europe will dominate their discussions.

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