Vienna to host Austrian, Russian Foreign Ministers' meeting

Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov will hold talks with Austrian foreign minister Benita-Maria Ferrero-Waldner in Vienna Wednesday.

RF foreign ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko reported that the ministers will discuss the situation in the Middle East, in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. He noted Moscow and Vienna's positions on those issues were close: both countries speak for strengthening the central role of the UN as the main universal institution to maintain peace and security.

As for bilateral relations, Moscow does not see in them any serious political problems, Yakovenko said.

He stated that in the context of the decisions adopted at the Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg, the sides are discussing opportunities to gradually simplify visa procedures.

Russia and Austria actively develop economic cooperation - in 2002 trade turnover increased to 2.09 billion euros, and keeps growing this year.

Moscow highly assesses Austria's course towards further development of Russia-EU strategic partnership, including in such directions as the formation of a single economic environment, security and defense policies.

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