Russian parliamentarians head for Rome

A State Duma delegation, headed by Lubov Sliska, First Vice Speaker of the Russian parliament's lower chamber, to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly heads for Rome on June 18 to discuss the prospects of cooperation within the framework of the Northern Alliance's Parliamentary Assembly with Italian MPs, Lubov Sliska announced at a briefing on Monday.

Russian MPs will stay in Rome till June 21. They are expected to discuss issues of cooperation in fighting international terrorism, ensuring environmental security, issues of Russian and Italian partaking in international agreements, as well as issues of ratification of the corresponding agreements, which are appealing to the Northern Alliance countries, the State Duma first vice speaker pointed out. In 2002 the Baltic countries are to enter NATO "and we care about their attitude to the agreements that we have ratified, in particular concerning nuclear arms reduction," Lubov Sliska also remarked.

In the course of the forthcoming meetings the Russian and Italian MPs will discuss possible reports that they will present at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly autumn session, which is to be held in Istanbul. These reports will also feature the issues of international cooperation between the parliamentarians in the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly, Lubov Sliska said.

The State Duma members intend to hold meetings, similar to the upcoming Rome meeting with Italian MPs, with the parliamentarians of France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, the Russian delegation head added. Such meetings are likely to take place in the near future, Lubov Sliska added.

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