Russian Foreign Minister To Negotiate Relations With EU In Spain And Portugal

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will start a two-day working visit to Spain today. According to information from the Foreign Ministry, Ivanov will discuss the strategy of cooperation between Russia and the European Union in the first half of 2002. He will meet with his Spanish counterpart Jose Pique, Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Asnar and King Juan Carlos. They are going to negotiate a wide range of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Middle East and outlooks for larger bilateral cooperation. In addition, Ivanov is expected to discuss these issues during his one-day visit to Portugal, the incumbent chairman of the OSCE. On January 23 the Russian Foreign Minister will hold talks with his Portuguese colleague Jaime Jose Matos da Gama and the President of Portugal.