The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes that regular sessions of the Consultative Group for Strategic Security led by the foreign and defence ministers of Russia and the USA will become a major channel of confidential dialogue between the two countries, ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told journalists.
The first session of the group will be held in Washington on September 20, where the ministers will discuss above all the treaty on strategic offensive reductions, ABM, non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons and regional problems.
The Consultative Group was set up in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the New Strategic Relationship signed by Vladimir Putin and George Bush in Moscow in May 2002.
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov has arrived in Washington and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will go there from New York, where he is attending the 57th UN General Assembly on Thursday. Igor Ivanov plans to have a meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell and US Congressmen. "Such exchange of opinions has become traditional," said Yakovenko.
In addition, the Russian foreign minister will hold a press conference in the National Press Club and several other meetings.