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Top Russian Negotiator Arrives in Beijing for Six-Party Talks
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Alexander Losyukov, chief Russian negotiator, arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning for the upcoming six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Losyukov, who is Russia's deputy foreign minister, is to attend the sixth round of the six-party talks scheduled to open on March 19.

Before leaving for Beijing, Losyukov told reporters that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the new round of six-party talks.

Hoping that the sixth round of talks could "move smoothly", he said it will be a complicated process for all parties to coordinate their positions and that there may be many unpredictable difficulties.

According to Losyukov, the Russian government is considering to offer extra assistance to North Korea, which "needs more time for further negotiations".

He appreciated the provision of 50,000 tons of heavy oil for North Korea by South Korea as part of the initial steps to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

All parties could make further efforts toward this direction, said Losyukov.

Losyukov said that the major mission for the sixth round of the six-party talks is to monitor the implementation of the Feb. 13 joint document reached during the third phase of the fifth round of six-party talks held last month.

So this round of talks may end in a shorter time, he said.

Losyukov attended the first and second rounds of six-party talks as well as the third phase of the fifth round of talks as chief negotiator of Russia.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2007)

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