On the last day of summer, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited Russian President Vladimir Putin at his vacation residence, Bocharov Ruchei, near Sochi. ... Their discussions were broad and inconclusive, ranging from the Middle East and Iraq, to Russian oil, Iran's nuclear program, and Afghanistan (StranaRu, August 31). Yet the three leaders obviously find it useful to revive the troika format that was initiated in 1997 by Boris Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl. The three meetings of Chirac, Putin, and Schroeder in 2003, which focused on forging a united front against the war in Iraq, fuelled media speculations about an "anti-U.S. axis," causing each of the trio to reassure U.S. President George W. Bush of his firm commitment to Atlantic values (Izvestiya, August 30).
Baev, Pavel K. (2004) The European Troika Meets in Sochi, Eurasia Daily Monitor. 1 September.