Putin not to attend NATO summit in Istanbul

On Tuesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the session of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Istanbul.

The summit will be attended by representatives of 46 countries - the 26 NATO member states and the 20 states that cooperate with NATO within the Partnership for Peace program.

The meeting is expected to focus on settlement of regional crises, as well as counteraction to the drug threat from Afghanistan. Afghan leader Hamid Karzai is to speak at the session.

Apart from this, taking into account the delegation of sovereignty to Iraq's provisional government, the summit's participants will discuss settlement in the country (the official ceremony of delegation of power took place yesterday). Yesterday NATO announced it was ready to help training Iraqi army and other law-enforcement structures.

Even partners of the alliance can assist to reach a settlement, French President Jacques Chirac said. Yesterday Lavrov announced Russia was not going to join either the multinational forces in Iraq no training of Iraqi power structures. According to him, Russia is more prepared to help restoring the country's economy.

Also on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Minister will hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Lithuania. He may also meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

On the same day Lavrov will leave for Indonesia to attend the ASEAN events.

© &to=http://www.rian.ru' target=_blank>RIAN

Early reports by "PRAVDA.Ru":

&to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/350/13006_.html' target=_blank>Putin ignores NATO summit

&to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2002/11/21/39761.html' target=_blank>Nato summit oficially opened in Prague Congress center

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