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    LAVROV AND RICE DISCUSS PREPARATION FOR RUSSIAN-US SUMMIT

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    MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - During talks in Ankara, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice discussed the preparation for a Russian-US summit in Bratislava, Russia's accession to the WTO and bilateral cooperation in the sphere of disarmament.

    "One of the key topics of discussion during the talks in Ankara was Russian-US cooperation in the sphere of disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Mr. Lavrov told journalists.

    He said that the sides reviewed proposals made by both countries and agreed to work out their details before the summit in Bratislava.

    Mr. Lavrov also stated that the sides discussed bilateral economic relations, including Russia's accession to the WTO.

    "We confirmed our intention to overcome all obstacles on the way of Russia's accession to the WTO, assuming that the solutions would not infringe upon the interests of our country," the Russian foreign minister underlined.

    According to Mr. Lavrov, during the meeting, the sides stressed the importance of a bilateral dialogue on energy issues. They emphasized the mutual desire to expedite the dialogue. Mr. Lavrov said that the US was interested in stable supply of fuel-carriers from Russia, and Russia, in its turn, in the increase of US investment in Russian energy industry.

    Mr. Lavrov also announced that during the talks the sides discussed Russian-US cooperation in the sphere of prevention of emergency situations and liquidation of their harmful aftermath.

    "Prevention of emergency situations might become a new topic of the Russian-US dialogue. Consequences of the tsunami in Southeast Asia clearly showed that we must combine our resources in that sphere," Mr. Lavrov said.

    He also noted that both countries might play a significant role in prevention of emergency situations and liquidation of their harmful aftermath.

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