17:18 GMT +321 October 2018
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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDING TALKS WITH EU TROIKA

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    DUBLIN, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived at the Dublin Castle for talks with the European Union Troika.

    The talks are expected to center around EU-Russia interaction amidst the ongoing expansion and transformation of the European Union. Specifically, the sides will discuss protection of Russian economic interests after ten more European nations officially join the EU on May 1 this year. This issue is to be resolved with the help of the following two documents: an additional protocol on the extension of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to the accession countries and a joint communique identifying Russia's main concerns in the face of EU enlargement.

    The documents are scheduled to be signed April 27, at a session of the Permanent Partnership Council in Luxembourg.

    Ahead of his trip to the Irish capital, Lavrov told reporters that not all of Russia's concerns had been addressed so far. According to him, the text of the communique has not yet been finalized, with several contentious issues remaining unsolved, such as the transit of freights to the Kaliningrad region (Russia's Baltic enclave, which will be separated from the mainland once Lithuania joins the EU) and the status of ethnic Russians in the three Baltic countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia).

    The Russian minister pointed out that the protocol and the communique are interdependent and that neither one may therefore be adopted without the other. Moscow anticipates that the EU will come up with an acceptable solution before May 1, Lavrov said.

    Topical problems of world politics-such as the escalation of violence in Iraq and Israel and the fight against global terrorism-will also be high on the agenda of Lavrov's talks with the EU Troika.

    The Dublin Castle, the venue of the talks, for centuries served as a symbol of English colonial rule in Ireland. Now, the Irish government uses it for state ceremonial.

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