A meeting between Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Colin Powell is taking place in the Kremlin. Welcoming the guest, the Russian president said that above all, he wanted to "sincerely thank his American colleagues" for their assistance in the humanitarian operation in Afghanistan. According to Putin, it concerns the aid given at the Bagram airfield where Russian and American specialists have "worked together very effectively". Powell in reply stressed that for the Americans it had been "a great honour to give Russia support" in establishing its field hospital and medical centre in Kabul. According to him, this operation is "a symbol" of the two sides' cooperation, which is open, clear and, in general, very good.