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    NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ARRIVES IN MOSCOW ON ROUTINE VISIT

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    MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer arrived in Moscow on a two-day routine visit.

    Konstantin Totsky, Russia's permanent representative to NATO met the secretary general at Vnukovo-2 airport.

    During the visit, the NATO secretary general is expected to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, the leadership and members of State Duma (parliament's lower house) committees on international affairs, defense and security.

    It is Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's first visit to Russia as NATO secretary general. He told RIA Novosti before departure that Russia-NATO relations today are "better than ever." The main topics of Moscow talks are prospects of Russia-NATO relations in light of the alliance's expansion, and the situations in Iraq and Kosovo.

    Russian foreign ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti that "the tasks of enhancing the compatibility of the power potentials of Russia and NATO" will be discussed as well.

    "Moscow hopes that negotiations with the secretary general will contribute to the development of relations between Russia and NATO, which objectively meets the interests of strengthening security and stability on the common European space," Alexander Yakovenko said.

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