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Putin To Meet With Slovak Leaders

25 February 2005 -- His summit in Bratislava with U.S. President George W. Bush over, Russian President Vladimir Putin is due today to hold official talks with Slovak leaders.

Putin, making the first visit by a Russian leader to Slovakia since Boris Yeltsin in 1993, is expected to lay a wreath at a monument to Soviet soldiers who liberated Bratislava in World War II.

He is then due to meet with Slovak parliament leaders, Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, and President Ivan Gasparovic.

Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said the Russian and Slovak sides were expected to sign an intergovernmental agreement on economic, scientific and technical cooperation. Prikhodko said Moscow is keen to preserve Russia's relations with Slovakia following Slovakia's entry to the European Union last year.