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    LAVROV TO DISCUSS RUSSIA-EU RELATIONSHIP WITH EU TROIKA

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    DUBLIN, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet on Wednesday with the EU leading troika to discuss coordination of efforts between Russia and the European Union as the EU expands and transforms itself. Discussion will in particular focus on Russia's economic interests as ten new members join the union.

    Two documents are to help solve this question: an additional protocol on extending the partnership and cooperation agreement between Russia and the EU to new union members and a joint statement of Russia's main concerns. The documents are expected to be signed at a meeting of the permanent council of the partnership on April 27 in Luxembourg.

    Lavrov said on the eve of his trip that not all issues agitating Russia had been settled. "I cannot say that the statement is agreed completely. There are still issues of freight transit (to the Kaliningrad region, which is a Russian enclave on the Baltic) and the situation of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries," he said. Lavrov noted that the protocol and the joint statement must be interconnected, and one document must not be adopted without the other.

    At the same time the minister emphasized that Moscow "has a feeling that the EU will find a solution to this matter" before May 1, when new members join the EU.

    The meeting will also dwell on international issues - the situation in the Middle East, and in Iraq, and the fight against terrorism.

    The April 14 meeting is being attended by the foreign minister of the country holding the rotating EU chairmanship (Ireland), EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Xavier Solana, and EU High Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten.

    In Dublin, the Russian minister will also have a bilateral meeting with Ireland's Foreign Minister Brian Cowen.

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