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    MOSCOW HOPES FOR TIMELY SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS ARISING FROM EU EXPANSION

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    MOSCOW, February 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes that mutually acceptable solutions to problems arising from the European Union's planned expansion will be worked out before May 1, 2004, Valery Salygin, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pointed out in a RIA interview Wednesday. It will be remembered that May 1 is the day ten candidate countries are officially joining the EU.

    The Russian side forwarded a list of its EU enlargement-related concerns to the European Commission as early as 1999, Salygin recalled. This past January, it updated the list.

    Controversial issues include the extension to the ten would-be member states of the European Union's current tariff and non-tariff quotas and anti-dumping measures vis-a-vis Russian exports and also the prevention of barriers to trade in nuclear fuel cycle commodities. Other problems to be addressed are facilitation of the visa regime for Russian nationals and readjustment of technical, veterinary and sanitary standards, Salygin said. He singled out Kaliningrad as a complex issue, which deserves separate examination (the Kaliningrad region is Russia's exclave on the Baltic Coast). Another outstanding problem is the adjustment to EU regulations of Russia's bilateral agreements with each of the ten candidate states.

    According to Salygin, both Russia and the European Union want timely solutions to problems arising from EU expansion; neither wants a legal vacuum between them.

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