U.S. Secretary of State to Arrive in Moscow

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday night on a working visit.

As spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti, several rounds of talks of the State Secretary with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov are planned.

Preparation of top-level Russian-U.S. contacts within the framework of the forthcoming celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg and of the regular summit of the Eight in Evian (France) will be the key issue of the talks.

The role of the UN and of the entire international community in the postwar rehabilitation of Iraq will be a major question. The sides will discuss, in particular, the U.S. draft resolution on Iraq which was submitted to the UN Security Council the other day. Its basic provisions include lifting of the sanctions against Iraq and the question of the role of the UN in the further settlement.

Priority attention will be paid to the problems of strategic stability, non-proliferation and security. Completion of the process of ratification of the Moscow treaty on strategic offensive reductions by the lower chamber of the Russian parliament remains a key question.

Ivanov and Powell will discuss also the situation around the nuclear programme of the DPRK, the implementation of the "road map" published by the Four of international mediators, and the situation in Afghanistan, in particular the questions of interaction of Russia and the USA in the struggle against the drugs threat emanating from that country.

The questions of further build-up of interaction of Russia and the USA both through the bilateral channels and in the multilateral format in the struggle against international terrorism and other new challenges, and of closer coordination of the efforts in the search for adequate replies to the terrorist threats linked with use of weapons of mass destruction, as well as in blocking the channels of financing terrorist activity will be considered.

It is planned also to touch upon the questions of development of the energy and banking dialogues, the prospects of the negotiating process on Russia's joining WTO and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, of receiving full and equal membership of the international commission on combating money laundering, and of final withdrawal of Russia from the effect of the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment.

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