Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will leave for London tomorrow, March 19. As the Department of Information and Press informed, the Minister would sit for a round of talks with his UK counterpart Jack Straw. Meetings with other UK top officials are also on the agenda. The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the negotiations would focus on the world's current problems, the issues of world terrorism being at the centre. The Afghan crisis, the events in the Middle East, South Asia and Iraq are among the most urgent ones. The Ministers will also discuss further cooperation between the two countries.
The experts expect that the situation in Iraq would be at the focus of attention. Prior to his visit, Mr. Ivanov gave an interview to the British Times quoting him as saying that a military action in Iraq would only further complicate both the conflict with Iraq and the situation in the region as a whole. The Russian Minister stressed that 'such actions would hurt the anti-terrorism coalition itself, yet setting ultimatums threatening Russia's pull out from the coalition is not appropriate in negotiations with the UK.'
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