Russian and South-Korean Presidents Vladimir Putin and Kim Dae-jung discussed bilateral relations and Korean settlement at their meeting in Shanghai. Vladimir Putin gave a high appraisal of the development of political dialogue and intensification of trade and economic cooperation with the Republic of Korea for the period after the Russian President's visit to this country in February 2001, Deputy Chief of the Kremlin administration Sergei Prikhodko told RIA Novosti. Also dominating the meeting were issues of bilateral cooperation, particularly, in the transport, power engineering and fishing areas. Apart from that, Messrs. Putin and Dae-jung dwelled on prospects for the Korean settlement, with Russia playing an active role in it, Prikhodko noted. The Korean leader praised this approach of Moscow. Requested by his counterpart, Vladimir Putin offered his estimate of a recent visit to Moscow by North-Korean leader Kim Jong-il's. According to the Russian President, this visit was "rich in content and useful". In addition, they discussed international issues, including the international anti-terrorist effort.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia