Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to Negotiate With IAEA Director-General Mohammed El-Baradei

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is to negotiate with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Director-General Dr. Mohammed El-Baradei here January 15th. This was disclosed to RIA NOVOSTI here today at the Russian Foreign Ministry. Dr. El-Baradei will complete his working visit to Russia January 16th, Foreign Ministry officials noted.

According to RIA NOVOSTI's sources, the sides intend to discuss the situation in the Korean Peninsula (in connection with North Korea's recent statements concerning the resumption of its nuclear programs and its withdrawal from the nuclear-weapons non-proliferation treaty) during their Kremlin talks. The Russian side also wants to draw the IAEA Director-General's attention to its initiative stipulating a comprehensive solution to the Korean problem.

First of all, the Russian plan envisages the Korean Peninsula's nuclear-free status, strict compliance with the nuclear-weapons non-proliferation treaty, as well as the observance of specific commitments stemming from other international accords (the 1994 framework agreement included) by all parties.

Second, the concerned parties should launch constructive and multi-faceted dialogue; among other things, North Korea should obtain security guarantees as a result of such dialogue.

Third, humanitarian and economic programmes, which were previously implemented in the Korean Peninsula, should be resumed.

In El-Baradei's opinion, Russia and the IAEA maintain close-knit business-like contacts; such contacts are facilitated by the IAEA secretariat's Russian officials. However, mutual cooperation should be intensified at this difficult stage when some serious knots have been tied in North Korea and Iraq because the future of nuclear energy, which is an important aspect of mankind's life, depends on this cooperation.

Talking to RIA NOVOSTI, officials at the IAEA secretariat noted that the IAEA governing council would hold its session, after Dr. El-Baradei returns from Moscow, passing a document on the North Korean situation.

According to the IAEA secretariat, Dr. El-Baradei also intends to meet Russia's Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

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