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Kremlin Spokesman: President Putin Will Not Visit Riga to Meet with French and Latvian Presidents


A Kremlin spokesman says that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not travel to Riga, Latvia to meet with the French and Latvian presidents.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow Tuesday that efforts to accommodate the schedules of the three leaders proved unsuccessful.

A French presidential spokesman said earlier that Mr. Putin might travel to Latvia on Wednesday following the NATO summit.

He planned to help mark the 74th birthday of French President Jacques Chirac, and also meet with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

The trip would have been Mr. Putin's first to the Baltic country as president.

Latvia and the other two Baltic countries, Estonia and Lithuania, gained independence in 1991 after almost 50 years of Soviet rule. Relations between Russia and Latvia have been strained.

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