Vladimir Putin to meet German and French leaders in New York

President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation is to arrive on an official visit in the United States today, September 24.

The Russian leader will, first of all, negotiate with President Jacques Chirac of France and Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in New York, deputy presidential administration chief Sergei Prikhodko noted.

The three heads of state are to discuss UN reform issues, ways of enhancing this organization's efficiency, as well as Russia-EU cooperation.

Talks on Russia's projected WTO (World Trade Organization) membership have now entered a new dimension; consequently, we would like to hear the opinion of such recognized European integration proponents as France and Germany, Prikhodko went on to say.

The issue of Schengen visas to Russian citizens is also perceived as an important aspect of these trilateral talks. The visa situation continues to get worse; and we would like to discuss this issue, all the more so as both France and Germany had voiced proposals making it possible to expedite the issue of entry visas to Russian citizens, Prikhodko stressed.

Talking about the international agenda of these talks, Prikhodko noted that Putin, Chirac and Schroeder intended to examine the Iranian situation, the Mideastern peace process, the situation in Afghanistan, as well as that on the Korean Peninsula.

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