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    RUSSIA TO ANNUL TREATIES WITH NEW EU COUNTRIES?

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 10 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russia may quite soon determine to annul certain bilateral agreements with countries shortly to join the European Union, and replace them with thoroughly new instruments, which will take into due account national legislative compliance with EU standards. That is what Konstantin Kosachev, international affairs committee head in the State Duma, Russia's lower parliamentary house, expects.

    As he said in a Novosti interview, Russia may establish trade missions in those countries, amend its veterinary standards, settle quota issues, and bring tariff amounts into order.

    Related negotiations are making progress, and the Parties are to come to an agreement before May 1 as previous treaties will be annulled. Both sides are equally interested in stepping up their dialogue, stressed the MP. The talks will help to bring to the least possible a negative impact the upcoming EU expansion may have on Russia. Expansion benefits will surpass that impact several-fold within the next two years or so, he expects.

    Mr. Kosachev, however, does not rule out problems arising at the negotiations - in particular, freight transits via Lithuania to the Kaliningrad Region, Russia's Baltic exclave.

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