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Russia: Foreign Minister Arrives In Strasbourg

Strasbourg, 5 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov arrived in Strasbourg today for talks with EU ministers and the Council of Europe.

Primakov also is scheduled to meet with the European Council's leading troika of foreign ministers from the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg before traveling to Luxembourg for talks tomorrow with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.

Primakov is Moscow's chief negotiator with NATO officials on alliance plans to expand into central and eastern Europe. Russian President Boris Yeltsin has set May 27 as the target date for signing a charter with NATO.

Itar-Tass reports that talks in Strasbourg will focus on trade ties and a nearly completed EU-Russia Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation. Talks also are expected on the prospects of an EU expansion into central and eastern Europe. Primakov is scheduled to address a session of the Council of Europe later today.