Leader of the Russian Communist Party /the KPRF/ Gennadi Zyuganov has called "military aggression" the United States' antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan. Appearing at a RIA Novosti press conference on Thursday, he declared that "missiles and tomahawks" are not a weapon against terrorism and a "qualitatively new policy" is required here. To Zyuganov, the road of negotiations and consultations at the level of the United Nations' Security Council should be opted for. The KPRF leader believes that all must be done for Russia to "play the role of an important stabilising factor in the world" and "manifest maximal restraint in Afghan developments". Asked by journalists, Gennadi Zyuganov expressed the opinion that representatives of the Northern Alliance "will never rule in Kabul and, even if they do come to power, they will not hold out for a long time: Pashtuns have always ruled there".
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea