31 August 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin met French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for talks today in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The leaders are expected to discuss trade and economic cooperation between their three countries and between Russia and the European Union.
The talks are also expected to deal with international issues, including the situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as world energy markets.
Chirac's arrival for the talks was delayed yesterday because of the crisis over the two French journalists being held hostage in Iraq.
Putin, Chirac, and Schroeder were united in opposition to last year's U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.