Problem of Chechnya will be discussed at Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg

The problem of Chechnya will be discussed at the Russian-EU summit in St. Petersburg on May 31, said the press service of the European Union in Russia on May 29. The main focus will of the discussion will be on the political perspective for a lasting peace in Chechnya and the necessity that Russia simplify conditions for rendering humanitarian aid. The question of the murder of humanitarian aid worker Arian Erkel will also be touched on.

The EU in Russia also suggests that Russia will 'absolutely raise the question' of a non-visa travelling regime between the EU and Russia, and simplifying visa procedures. The EU in Russia also said that 'the successful realization of the agreement on Kaliningrad reached at a meeting in Brussels in November 2002 will also be mentioned at the summit.'

Solutions for the 'smouldering' Pridnestrovian conflict as well as the prevention of the distribution of narcotics from Afghanistan and Central Asia will also be at the center of attention. Moreover, the situation in post-war Iraq will also be touched on.

The Russia-EU summit opens in the palace of congresses in Strelna on May 31. Fifteen European leaders and ten EU candidate member leaders will take part in the summit. Part of the delegations will stay in cottages in Strelna and the remaining delegations will arrive at the palace of congresses in the morning. The 25 leaders, President Vladimir Putin and EU President Romano Prodi will take a group picture in memory of the event.

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