In the opinion of Curt Weldon, representative of the US Congress armed services committee, the United States must discuss with Russia all its plans connected with the deployment of weapons or military presence on the territories of the former Soviet republics, which are independent Central Asian states now, within the framework of its anti-terrorist operation. Curt Weldon said at a press-conference that possible actions by the United States and NATO aiming for long-term military presence on the territories of Uzbekistan and Kirghizia could only be carried out on the basis of consultations with the Russian side. In Weldon's words, he knows nothing of such US plans. He also said that had there been any such plans, they should have been discussed with the Russian foreign ministry's representatives and the Russian president. The American congressman stressed in conclusion that the United States highly appreciated the assistance given by Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally by permitting the US armed forces to use Russian air space for carrying out its anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18