Flame-lighting ceremony for the Salt Lake City Winter Games will be held in Olympia. Prime Minister Costas Simitis chairs a meeting of the Inner Cabinet. Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Brussels for a General Affairs Council meeting. Developments in Afghanistan and the EU’s initiative for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are expected to top the agenda. Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou travels to Brussels for a two-day informal meeting of EU defense ministers. Talks will focus on security issues following September 11. Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Zafeiropoulos to meet with the deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matviyenko, at the Foreign Ministry. Talks will focus on issues such as energy and natural gas, while they are expected to sign a protocol on economic, industrial and technological cooperation. Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Greece next month. Farmers hold rallies in Thessaloniki and Trikkala, protesting at low cotton prices, and demanding that tobacco subsidies not be reduced or abolished.

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