President Vaclav Havel confirmed previous invitation to President Vladimir Putin to visit Czechia, as he was receiving Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia's Prime Minister, on the Hrad presidential residence. Messrs. Havel and Kasyanov debated social and political developments in the world, the Russian Premier said to newsmen following the conference. Mikhail Kasyanov pointed out President Havel's close attention to European security and global solidarity against international terrorism. He was referring to President Havel as "steeled and worldly-wise politician", the only of the European Old Guard to remain at the helm to this day. Vaclav Havel is enthusiastic about mutually beneficial Czech-Russian partnership regaining former dynamism, added the Premier.
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