Putin, Chirac to discuss situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East and Kosovo

Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac are to discuss the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Kosovo here today, a Kremlin source noted.

According to RIA Novosti's information, both leaders will also discuss efforts to draft an agreement concerning army-materiel transits to Afghanistan via Russian territory.

Vladimir Putin conferred with cabinet members at a traditional Monday conference, noting that Russia and Germany had agreed on military-consignment transits to Afghanistan, and that such talks were also being conducted between Moscow and Paris.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was asked by Vladimir Putin to report on the drafting of this document, said this agreement was now being finalized. We've met with understanding inside the State Duma's committees and we are ready to keep on working with the deputies, Lavrov added.

Moreover, Russian-French economic interaction, as well as issues pertaining to Russia's projected World Trade Organization (WTO) membership, will be examined during the April 3 talks, the source noted in conclusion.

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