The questions of the struggle against terrorism and the APEC problems, as well as bilateral relations of Russia with China were discussed at the meeting of the heads of two countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs. As the RIA Novosti correspondent reports, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Ivanov said this to journalists after the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Tang Jiaxuan. Speaking about the state of bilateral relations, Ivanov said that they are on the rise, especially after the recent Moscow visit by PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin during which an important bilateral treaty forming the basis of relations for a long period of time was signed. Ivanov also noted that the Moscow visit by Premier of the State Council of the PRC Zhu Rongji, devoted mainly to economic problems, had also been of great importance. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Moscow and Beijing are planning a number of large-scale projects which can "lead the countries' relations to a new level". According to the existing forecasts, this year the goods turnover between Russia and China will reach "an unprecedented level", Igor Ivanov said. And "the tendency is very positive", he noted. The heads of the Foreign Ministries of the two countries discussed also "the further efforts to step up the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which, with due account for the latest developments, must make a contribution of its own to the resolution of the regional problems facing its members". As Igor Ivanov said, at today's talks the Ministers informed each other of their contacts in the USA on the ABM problems. "The plan of the consultations between the Foreign Ministries for the year of 2002", which embraces a wide range of international questions, was also agreed upon.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea