Konstantin Kosachev, second in charge of the international affairs committee of the Russian State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, believes President Musharraf's recent statement has dramatically reduced a possibility that India and Pakistan will go as far as an armed conflict. India and Pakistan were given a chance to break the vicious circle of mutual threats and start a constructive dialogue, according to Mr Kosachev. The latest developments cannot but bear directly on Russia's political and economic interests in the region, believes the MP. If the military scenario prevailed, Russia would have to suspend many intergovernmental projects of cooperation with Delhi, in the area of construction of nuclear power plants for one. Prospects for the Afghan internal settlement would be quite grim too, since they depend a great deal on stances of the neighbouring countries, primarily Pakistan and India, said the Russian MP.
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