Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Ivanov who arrived in Turkmenia on an official visit the day before is to meet with president of the country Saparmurat Niyazov on Wednesday. As RIA Novosti was told in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, during the meeting it is intended to discuss the key questions of international politics, among them the situation in Afghanistan and around it and the prospects of Afghan settlement. The agenda includes also the questions of interaction of Russia and Turkmenia within the bounds of the efforts of the international community to help shape a peaceful Afghanistan and to render humanitarian aid to the population of that country. The questions of bilateral interaction in the struggle against international terrorism will hold an important place. As officials of the Russian foreign-policy department pointed out, the problems of the Caspian Sea will be one of central themes. Moscow notes with satisfaction that the stands of Russia and Turkmenistan on the status of the Caspian Sea, in particular in such an important question as delimitation of its seabed, have drawn substantially closer together of late. The sides plan to analyze the state of trade-economic cooperation with due account for the forthcoming first meeting of the bilateral intergovernmental commission, and to consider the course of the preparation for signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the gas sphere. While in 2000 the volume of the supplies of Turkmen gas to Russia amounted to 30 billion cu m, the respective figure for 2001 stood at a mere 10 billion cu m. On that same day Igor Ivanov will fly to Uzbekistan on an official visit. In Tashkent the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs will have a conversation with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov. On that same day president of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will receive Igor Ivanov at his residence. The signing of joint documents will take place on January 10.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987