In the nearest future an expert meeting will be held to prepare for signing the agreement on multilateral nuclear-ecological program in the Russian Federation.
According to the information provided to RIA Novosti in the department of information and press of the Russian foreign ministry, during the negotiations held in Moscow on 21 March the principal text of the draft agreement was agreed. The ministry representatives pointed out that "the important positive prerequisite for that was the decision of Russia to exempt foreign participants in the assistance programs within the present agreement from the VAT and other dues." Thus, according to the Russian foreign ministry, "the principle discussion of the draft agreement was completed and the work on it was being moved over from political to the technical sphere." The diplomats stressed that in the course of the exchange of opinions the parties expressed their confidence that the agreement would "permit to strengthen radiation security in Europe and to improve the ecological situation in northern regions of Russia." The foreign ministry's document pointed out that the parties declared the intention to apply efforts to execute the agreement "prior to another meeting of leaders of the G8 in Evian (France)." The document stated that "the Swedish representative confirmed his country's proposition of holding the signing ceremony in Stockholm at the end of May 2003." The Russian diplomats concluded that "the expedient conclusion of the agreement would facilitate practical implementation of the agreement of the G8 leaders reached in Kananaskis (Canada) in the summer of 2002 to establish a Global Partnership against proliferation of mass destruction weapons and materials."