A RIA Novosti correspondent reports that the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, supported on Wednesday the proposal of the Russian President to extend the mandate of Russian peace-keepers in Bosnia and Herzegovina with 131 votes for, no votes against and two abstentions. Thus, Russian peace-keepers will now be stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina till July 31, 2002. The Russian military have been participating in the stabilisation operation in the region within multinational forces since 1997. In the current year their number will be reduced from 1,200 to 600 servicemen.
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