Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Ali Shakhmani, Defense Minister of Iran, who is currently on an official visit in Russia, discussed the situation in Afghanistan and around it. The Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department reported on Friday that the sides noted a considerable coincidence of views on the problem discussed. The ministers stated during the meeting that Russian-Iranian top-level negotiations which were held in Moscow in March 2001, raised the relations between the countries to a new level and imparted Russian-Iranian cooperation a dynamic and variegated nature. Intensive contacts are maintained and reserves created for the development of mutually advantageous ties in the political, trade, economic and other key spheres of cooperation, noted the Information and Press Department. Ivanov and Shakhmani stressed that the development of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Iran develops in strict compliance with the current international legal norms and is directed to strengthening general regional security and international stability. During the discussion of world policy issues, the sides "stressed the importance of stepping up international efforts for eradicating terrorism and extremism. They expressed themselves in favor of consolidating international institutions called upon to strengthen security and stability in the world," reported the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969