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France's foreign minister will fly into Moscow Wednesday
France's foreign minister will fly into Moscow Wednesday to discuss the escalating dispute around Iran's nuclear programs with his Russian counterpart. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a government meeting Wednesday that his talks with Philippe Douste-Blazy, which are scheduled to take place Thursday, would focus on Iran in the light of London meeting between the deputy ministers of the European trio nations seeking an end to the crisis, the United States, Russia and China. Tehran announced last week that it had abandoned a two-year moratorium on research into uranium enrichment, which some nations fear will be used to develop nuclear weapons, although the country insists it wants nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. Some countries are pushing for the issue to be referred to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions if the Islamic Republic is found to be in breach of its international commitments, though Lavrov was cautious about that option during a Tuesday news conference. "Sanctions are not the best or the only way of resolving international problems," he said, referring to the experience of Iraq. France, which along with the United Kingdom and Germany is one of the three European states proactively working toward resolving the situation, hopes that Russia will support the European nations' proposals on the solution of the Iranian nuclear issue. "We will fully inform Russian and Chinese representatives of our assessments and proposals [on the issue]," Douste-Blazy said during a recent visit to Germany. In addition, Mikhail Kamynin, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the two ministers planned to discuss Russia's cooperation with the European Union and NATO, issues connected with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, UN reform, terrorism, and the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction as part of the Global Partnership program and bilateral cooperation within it.
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