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    RUSSIAN, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTERS FOCUS ON RUSSIA-EU RELATIONS

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    MOSCOW, January 21, 2004 (RIA Novosti) -- Russian and French Foreign Ministers Igor Ivanov and Dominique de Villepin are to focus on Russia-EU relations during Villepin's visit to Moscow due on January 22-23, the Russian Foreign Ministry told journalists on Wednesday.

    In particular, the two ministers will discuss the implementation of decisions yielded by the Russia-EU summits in St. Petersburg and Rome.

    "Russia supports Paris' intention to boost this process and to show what interstate relations within Greater Europe in the 21st should be like by the example of Russian-French interstate agreements, first of all, concerning the freedom of movement," the Russian Foreign Minister said.

    In addition, Ivanov and de Villepin will discuss vital international problems, including the situations in Iraq and the Middle East.

    Russia and France have common approaches to these problems. The two countries adhere to the multi-polar model of the world order, with the central role of the UN and its Security Council as the main guarantor and instrument of international stability and security, the Russian Foreign Minister noted.

    The ministers will also discuss other important issues - counter-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, various aspects of globalisation, etc.

    Apart from that, Igor Ivanov and Dominique de Villepin will consider preparations for the third meeting of the Russian-French security cooperation council involving foreign and defence ministers. The meeting will be held in Paris on March 5, 2004.

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