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Russia: Lithuanian President In Moscow

Moscow, 29 March 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus has arrived in Moscow to start a state visit to Russia. Adamkus is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, and other leaders. Adamkus' press service said the trip is aimed at reaffirming Lithuania's policy of pursuing "good-neighborly" relations with the Russian Federation. However, ties between Lithuania and Russia are frequently strained, particularly over the desire by Lithuania to join NATO, a move Russia strongly opposes.

The Kremlin also recently criticized Lithuanian demands that Moscow pay for environmental damage caused by the Soviet Army during its five-decade occupation of Lithuania.

Adamkus and Russia President Vladimir Putin are due to meet tomorrow (Friday). Our correspondent says the Lithuanian leader is also expected to travel on Saturday to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland.

The European Union says it worries about Kaliningrad's status after Lithuania and Poland join the EU, as expected, in several years.