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    MOSCOW HOSTING RUSSIA-EU SUMMIT, FIRST AFTER EUROPEAN UNION'S ENLARGEMENT

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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - A Russia-EU summit is to be held in Moscow on Friday, May 21.

    The Prime Minister of Ireland who is the EU chairman in the first half of this year, that country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, chairman of the European Commission - the highest executive body of the EU - Romano Prodi, and European commissioners Pascal Lamy and Chris Patten arrived in the Russian capital to participate in the summit - the first after the EU's enlargement (10 new members from-among East- and Central-European countries, among them three Baltic states, joined the European Union on May 1).

    As a source in the president's administration said, "the summit's program is traditional enough - the sides will hold talks in the Kremlin, then a working lunch will be held, and it will be followed by a press conference." According to the agency's source, the meeting will begin with a kind of synchronization of watches - all that has been done since the previous Russia-EU summit last November will be reviewed.

    The source called this period "a check of relations' strength", since the European Union enlarged from 15 to 25 members precisely within this period. "And we came up to the summit, having removed many fears which existed about Russia's relations with the EU," he said.

    "In line with established tradition, president Vladimir Putin will make an assessment of the development of the situation in Russia, while the EU leaders will provide information on the situation in the EU, the course of the European Union's intergovernmental conference, and the preparation of a draft constitution of the extending EU," another source in the Kremlin said.

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