EU EXPANSION: RUSSIA SEEKS AMERICAN & JAPANESE ADVICE

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MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is weighing tentative results of upcoming EU expansion in consultations with the USA, Japan and certain other countries, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, said to a Novosti news conference.

"We are in an interesting dialogue with the countries on which the matter will also have an impact-in particular, the USA and Japan. They, too, have their concerns, so we are all exchanging opinions on problem settlement," remarked the diplomat, who described the exchange as "useful".

The matter concerns labour-consuming efforts to amend the partnership legal basis as another ten countries are joining the European Union. The ten appear vitally interested in legal amendments made in due time. "One may say they are a bit late to display such interest-but they have their reason, too. Those countries were hard put waging a necessary dialogue before an agreement on their joining the EU was signed and they learned precise terms of their membership," explained Mr. Chizhov.

"The road has been cleared now, and our dialogue is underway with an overwhelming majority of those countries-nine out of a total ten," he went on.

When asked to specify the abstainer, the deputy minister asked his audience's permission not to name the country.

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