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    MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - US Secretary of State Colin Powell is to come to Russia to discuss joint action in an effort to fight international terrorism as well as to enhance strategic stability, that is to cut strategic armaments and to develop the anti-air defence system. Reporters learnt about this from Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Duma international affairs committee, at a press-conference Tuesday.

    Colin Powell is likely to deal with Russia's attitude toward Iran's IAEA position, said Konstantin Kosachev. Besides, the United States is expected to raise the issue of the so-called Khodorkovsky case (former oil-company YUKOS boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now in custody, is charged by the Prosecutor-General's Office with tax-evasion and fraud) and the situation in Chechnya. According to the MP, the situation has markedly improved in the republic after presidential elections." For its part, Russia intends to review the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Kosachev.

    "It is clear now that due to American policies the situation in Iraq is in the impasse and not accepted by an Iraqi majority. Apart from this theme being top on the UN agenda, Russian-American dialogue is certainly a timely and rewarding event, said Kosachev.

    This year is certain to bear the imprint of presidential elections to be held in Russia and the United States, said the MP.

    "It is the duty of politicians and diplomats to do so that bilateral relations continue to develop in 2004, which ought not to become a year of lost opportunities."

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