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Rice Says She Will Press For Reforms In Putin Meeting

Condeleezza Rice (file photo) Washington, 15 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she will press for democratic reforms in Russia during her meeting next week with President Vladimir Putin.

Rice told a gathering of newspaper editors in Washington that the U.S. government was seeking to help "bring Russia West" toward a more democratic and open free-market society.

"My message there will be that a democratic and vibrant and prosperous Russia is in everyone's interest," she said. "Our relationship with Russia holds enormous potential and we can do even more together as Russia moves along a democratic path."

Rice is due to visit with Putin and other top Russian officials in Moscow on 19-20 April.