French, Russian justice ministers hold talks

Cooperation between the justice ministries was central at the negotiations that took place on Thursday in the French capital between the French and Russian Justice ministers, Dominique Perben and Yuri Chaika.

Messrs Perben and Chaika discussed matters of "quality and diversification of legal contacts between France and Russia, in particular, French experts' involvement in the large-scale legal reform Russia is carrying out." The conferees also touched upon problems of "Russian-French cooperation in implementation of legal programs at a European level." The ministers stressed "the importance of aligning major judicial legislations of Russia with all-European norms." Dominique Perben was confident that cooperation between the two countries in the area of justice would be subsequently and fruitfully developed and that, in his opinion, was facilitated by "recently established in the French embassy in Moscow of the position of legal adviser to maintain constant contacts with Russian legal services." Yuri Chaika extended an invitation to his French counterpart to visit Russia in 2003, which was accepted by Dominique Perben with satisfaction.

While commenting on the results of the meeting, the Russian minister pointed out that "cooperation with France achieved a new qualitative level which was extremely important for subsequent development of the Russian legal system." He reported that during the Paris negotiations the parties considered specific issues related to the signing of two agreements "On extradition of criminals" and "On transfer of prisoners." Early next year, French experts will arrive in Moscow to finally agree on all aspects of these documents.

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