During the ninth conference of the OSCE Council of Ministers, Chairman-in-Office and Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana announced that the events of the September 11th tragedy had led to a new climate of trust between Russia and the USA, as well as a considerable shift in Russia-Nato relations. According to him, these changes had already had a positive effect on European security and cooperation. In the Romanian minister's opinion, these "extraordinary positive moments" have to be used to create a new international system of political and economic relations so that the most crucial problems of the times can be solved effectively. Mr. Geoana stressed that the so-called "Partnership for Renewal" programme should include not only Eastern Europe, but also Russia and the Caucasus. He also proposed that it be expanded to involve other countries, OSCE partners, in particular, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Mr. Geoana also touched upon the problem of the former Soviet republics, which, according to him, could not and should not be ignored. In particular, the OSCE chairman said that only "modest progress" had been made in solving the "lingering" conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), the Trans-Dniestria (Moldova), Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgia). Mr. Geoana believes that there has been a "lack of political will" to bring about a peaceful solution to these problems.