Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair to hold talks on Thursday

Russian and British analysts observe that positions held by Moscow and London grew visibly closer while they kept working on the United Nations Security Council's resolution No. 1483. This rapprochement was especially visible, when it came to recognition of the role of the UN in postwar settlement and restoration in Iraq and the problem of settling Iraq's foreign debt.

The British side will possibly bring up the Chechen problem as well. Addressing the British Parliament last Thursday, Blair said: "I always bring up the Chechen subject while speaking with President Putin, but what I mean by that is that the Russian nation suffers terribly from the terrorism emanating from extremists in Chechnya." He also said he supported Russia's effort to combat terrorism in Chechnya. "As a result of Vladimir Putin's political initiatives, there is a chance to effect real political settlement in Chechnya," the British premier said.

Talks between Putin and Blair will be staged in the British premier's residence in Downing Street, after a lunch Tony Blair and his wife Cherie give for the Russian president and his wife Lyudmila.

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