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    RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER

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    MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday will receive German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. That same day Joschka Fischer will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and will address the deputies of the State Duma (the Lower House of the Russian Parliament).

    The German Foreign Minister Thursday afternoon arrives in the Russian capital from Kaliningrad (the administrative center of the Russian enclave in the Baltic of the same name; before the end of the Second World War it was the capital of Eastern Prussia under the name of Kenigsberg). According to official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko, at Fischer's negotiations in Moscow the sides will discuss cooperation between Moscow and Berlin in the international arena.

    Much attention will be paid to perspectives of the strengthening of the role of the United Nations in the Iraqi settlement, to the situation in the Middle East conflict, in Afghanistan and in other problematic areas, and to countering the threats of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    "The sides will also continue to discuss such themes, traditional for the Russian-German political dialogue, as perspectives of Russia's cooperation with the European Union and NATO, problems of European security and the coming into force of the adapted Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty," said Yakovenko.

    It is also planned to analyze the fulfillment of the decisions of the Yekaterinburg round of the summit inter-state consultations (October 2003) which determined the basic priorities of the Russian-German agenda. Another important issue will be the problems which arise for the citizens of Kaliningrad in connection with the expansion of the European Union.

    It is also expected that the sides will speak about the easing of the visa system between the two countries. The Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman said that Russia and the FRG had concluded and temporarily applied (until ratification) the inter-governmental agreement on facilitating mutual trips by citizens - "a pilot agreement with the Schengen countries."

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