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Russian FM Visits Washington As Independent Report Criticizes Relations


Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to meet later Tuesday in Washington with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Among other issues, Lavrov is expected to discuss Russia's attempt to negotiate a compromise on the Iranian nuclear situation.

Meanwhile, the influential Council on Foreign Relations has released a report saying U.S.-Russian relations are heading in the wrong direction.

The foreign policy organization says Russia is trying to curtail U.S. and NATO access to Central Asian military bases. It also accuses Russia of using energy supplies as a political weapon, and says Russian political institutions are becoming corrupt.

The head of the independent task force that wrote the report later said Russia could be thrown out of the G-8 if it does not cooperate on major world problems.

The G-8 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Russia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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