Russian defence minister Sergei Ivanov will leave for Brussels on Monday, reported the press service of the ministry. In the HQ of NATO the Russian minister will attend a routine session of the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council at the level of defence ministers. According to the press service, in Brussels Ivanov is to have a number of bilateral meetings, including with NATO Secretary General George Robertson, defence ministers of the US, Belgium, France and some other European members of NATO. To quote some military and diplomatic sources, the Russian delegates intend to discuss, first of all, the new format of cooperation in the fight against international terrorism within the anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan and the consequences of the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign