British Foreign Office Minister to Visit Russia

MOSCOW, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Minister of the British Foreign Office Bill Rammel will come to Russia on April 4-6 with a working visit, the British Embassy in Moscow has informed RIA Novosti.

Mr. Rammel intends to visit Moscow and Yekaterinburg, a large industrial center in the South Urals. In the Russian capital he will hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Vladimir Chizhov and Yuri Fedotov, as well as with parliamentarians, businessmen and students. Rammel will also attend a roundtable titled "Solving Security Problems Together" with students of the Moscow State Foreign Relations Institute (MGIMO), representatives of the US and Canada Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and members of the British graduates’ club.

In Yekaterinburg the British diplomat will meet the city governor and administration, as well as businessmen.

Mr. Rammel is the first British minister to visit Russia after the presidential elections, the Embassy pointed out.

"The visit aims at emphasizing the importance of Britain’s relations with Russia, confirming the hopes of the British government for further cooperation and demonstrating its active support to the democratic reform in Russia at the very beginning of Vladimir Putin’s second term in office," the Embassy explained.

According to Bill Rammel, he "is looking forward to his first visit to Russia", which "remains one of our key partners".

"We are striving after closer relations between Russia and the EU, the G8 and NATO. We also want to continue developing our successful contacts in trade and investment. Great Britain wants Russia to be a stable and prosperous country, an influential member of the international community. We welcome the progress achieved in reforms in the recent years and are ready to continue our support to the process," Mr. Rammel emphasized.