ON RUSSIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IGOR IVANOV'S UPCOMING VISIT TO BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
Unofficial translation from Russian
On April 15-16 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov will visit Belgium and Luxembourg. In Brussels he will have a working meeting with NATO Secretary General George Robertson, for discussion of the progress in talks on the creation of a new Russia-NATO cooperation mechanism - a political Council at 20. The focus of attention will be questions of imparting to the Council at 20 a genuinely equal character, of building within its framework a political dialogue with a view to realizing the principle of common responsibility for joint decision making and execution. In this case it is important that each side of the Council at 20 should strive to achieve consensus at the elaboration stage of decisions.
The next - fifth - meeting of the Russia-EU Cooperation Council in the format of "1+15" at foreign ministers' level will take place in Luxembourg on April 15-16. It is to discuss the full range of topical issues in cooperation between Russia and the European Union with an eye on the preparation of a Russia-EU summit in Moscow this May.
Primary attention will be devoted to implementing the decisions of the previous Russia-EU summits, including the state of political dialogue and the formation of a foreign policy and security cooperation mechanism.
As far as the economic component of cooperation with the European Union is concerned, the major themes of the meeting will be the progress in developing the concept of forming a common European economic space, and in the dialogue in the energy sphere. Measures for the early solution of a number of particularly significant trade and economic issues for Russia, including the recognition of the market status of the Russian economy, Russia's accession to WTO on the standard nondiscriminatory terms, and the solution of the problems of life support for the Kaliningrad Region in the context of the EU enlargement, will be discussed.
The ministers will consider the problems of cooperation in the law enforcement field and of strengthening the base of cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, as well as in such promising areas as environmental activities, the utilization of space and information technologies.
A discussion on a number of the most important international problems, including the situation in the Middle East and around Iraq, political settlement and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan, and the ensuring of stability in the Balkans, will take place.
April 12, 2002