Russia and the United States are destined to play a special role in modern-day international processes, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said as he spoke before representatives of the socio-political circles of Washington, D.C. Ivanov said that "whether we like it or not, our two nations bear a greater part of responsibility for overcoming the inertia of the Cold War." He pointed out that "it often takes us a lot of effort and energy to remove obstacles created in the past instead of giving our undivided attention to problems of security and strategic stability of the present-day world. As he sees it, the fact that "we no longer see each other as adversaries is not enough and we now must set ourselves far more ambitious goals, working toward strategic interaction." At the same time, these prospects must be looked at realistically, with the awareness that our relationship has certain constraints on it and that these will continue to exist. "Russia and the U.S. do not always see eye to eye, but even close allies may disagree on this or that event," Ivanov said. He singled out as fundamental the issue of "whether we will be trying to put emphasis on our differences or will rather focus our efforts on the identification of common points and the expansion of the spheres of common interest."
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building