Special envoy of the Russian foreign ministry for the Middle East settlement Andrey Vdovin is departing Friday for a tour of the Middle East countries, where he will have negotiations with all the interested sides. As RIA Novosti learned from foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko, the decision of the foreign minister of Russia to dispatch his special envoy to the Middle East was prompted by the "sharp aggravation of the situation in Palestinian-Israely relations". The aim of the visit is to further promote the efforts of the Russian co-sponsor to help lead the crisis out of its present deadlock. As the foreign ministry spokesman noted, the Russian envoy will act in close contact with the US co-sponsor of the peace process, EU and UN representatives.
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