Speaking in Moscow on 15 October, British Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, welcomed the unprecedentedly close co-operation between the UK and Russia - and the strong lead given by President Putin - in the global coalition against terrorism. He said that the same global 'passion and commitment' should also be channelled into a wider campaign against other international problems such as poverty, drinking water and the environment. He encouraged world leaders to focus on the UN Summit in South Africa next September as a target for 'facing up to the challenges of a new world order' created by the terrible events of 11 September . At the Johannesburg conference, world leaders will discuss issues such as poverty, access to fresh water and energy and the protection of the environment, and progress since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Deputy Prime Minister said: "The World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, next year is an opportunity to take stock of progress since Rio. But the conference ends on 11 September  and that date has now taken on a new significance." "Our immediate focus is rightly on defeating terrorism. But we must harness the current commitment and passion for global action to deal with other international problems as well. One billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day. One and a half billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. "Here is a real chance to use international co-operation to achieve lasting benefits and to help leave the world's environment to future generations in as good a state as we inherited it." Visiting Moscow for the first time, the Deputy Prime Minister said Russia was a friend and a partner. He said Russia was a key player in the fight against terrorism and emphasised her crucial role in ensuring that the Kyoto Protocol on climate change entered into force. He added: "I want to work with Russia and other key global players to secure a successful conference in Johannesburg next year." The Deputy Prime Minister met Prime Minister Kasyanov, Deputy Prime Minister Khristenko and German Gref, Minister of Economic Trade and Development, as well as Russian parliamentarians and representatives of the British business community. Mr Prescott will leave Russia to visit Ukraine tomorrow [16 October 2001] at the invitation of President Leonid Kuchma. He will be the most senior member of the British government to visit the country in the last five years. Ukraine is an important partner and European neighbour. He will hold wide-ranging discussions with President Kuchma, Prime Minister Kinakh and parliamentarians. He will also attend the European Champion's League fixture between Dynamo Kiev and Liverpool.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea