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    RUSSIA TO LEAD ECMT

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will be the next ECMT chair country, to overtake leadership July 1, announced Alexander Kolik, Deputy Minister of Transportation. He was summing up for the media Moscow negotiations of Jack Short, Secretary General of the European Conference of Transportation Ministers, with Sergei Frank, Russia's Minister of Transportation.

    A total 43 countries are represented on the ECMT, Russia among them. Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA are associated members. To coordinate transportation ministry activities in Europe is the principal conference mission, said Mr. Kolik.

    Member countries take turn for chairmanship, as the ECMT regulations have it. Russia is overtaking, July 1. That was why today's agenda revolved round the Transportation Ministry's new duties and goals the high post implies.

    In particular, the negotiators discussed preparations for a 89th session of the ECMT Council of Ministers, to gather in Moscow in May 2004. Messrs. Short and Frank made session agenda blueprints. The ECMT future, long-term objectives, and response to European Union expansion east will dominate the agenda. Also of great importance to the session will be a reform of multilateral quota arrangements for transnational automobile transportation.

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