An international conference will be launched on Friday in the Latvian capital of Riga. The topic of the conference is "Baltic States in NATO: Strengthening the Stability and Security in Europe." Reportedly, the conference will be held with participation of prominent politicians and officials from 10 countries including those from Russia. Two issues are expected to be on the agenda. The first one concerns the influence of NATO membership of the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) on these states' societies; the second dwells on the contribution of such membership to the European and regional security. The first discussion will be chaired by Carl Bildt, the former Premier of Sweden, the second - by Bruce Jackson, the President of the US Committee on NATO. The conference is organised by the Latvian Trans-Atlantic Organisation. It was established a year ago to promote NATO expansion within Latvian society.
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