Chirac's visit to Moscow postponed till April 3

French President Jacques Chirac's visit to Russia has been postponed till Saturday, April 3, the press service of the Elysee Palace said on Tuesday.

Formerly, Mr. Chirac was scheduled to visit Moscow on April 1-2.

According to sources in the Elysee Palace, the resignation of the French government and the formation of the new cabinet of ministers caused the decision to postpone the visit.

On Tuesday morning French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin handed in the government's resignation. The President accepted the resignation of the cabinet and ordered Mr. Raffarin to form a new cabinet.

Members of the new cabinet are to be announced on Wednesday. Its first meeting will take place on Friday morning, the sources in the Elysee Palace said. The President has to preside at this meeting, so the visit was postponed.

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