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    GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER PAYS A WORKING VISIT TO RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, February 11, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer arrives on Wednesday in Russia on a working visit.

    Official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti in an interview that during this visit the German Foreign Minister plans to discuss with his counterpart Igor Ivanov the Kaliningrad problem in view of the coming expansion of the European Union. The Kaliningrad Region is the Russian enclave in the Baltic.

    Alexander Yakovenko pointed out that the opening of the FRG Consulate General in Kaliningrad these days showed that the Russian side puts into practice its part of the agreements with the European Union which were fixed in the Joint Statement of November 11, 2002.

    "This step will help facilitate part of the problems for the citizens of Kaliningrad, including the problems in the visa sphere which arise in the context of the Union's expansion. The discussion of them will be continued at the negotiations with Joschka Fischer," Yakovenko said.

    Within the frame of his working visit Joschka Fischer will be the first of the incumbent FRG federal ministers to visit the Kaliningrad Region. In Kaliningrad he plans to introduce the first FRG Consul General Kornelius Sommer and to lay a wreath to the tomb of Immanuel Kant on the day of the 200th anniversary of the philosopher's death.

    From Kaliningrad Joschka Fischer plans to go to Moscow. The sides at the Russian-German negotiations will pay attention to the prospects of strengthening the role of the United Nations in an Iraqi settlement and the Middle East conflict, and also to countering international terrorism and to Russia's cooperation with the countries of the European Union and NATO.

    Joschka Fischer's visit to Russia will last till February 12.

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