Andrei Vdovin, special envoy of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has arrived in the Middle East. He will join hands with other international mediators in search for a way to settle bad tensions in that part of the world, Mr. Vdovin said to RIA Novosti. Things appeared to be getting better quite recently, after Shimon Peres, Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, met in conference with Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority leader. A way out of the crisis seemed close at hand. The hopes dispersed with dire developments of a few past days, when Israeli-Palestinian confrontation came to an edge again. More efforts are urgently necessary--or there will be no way at all out of the crisis, warned Andrei Vdovin. The Russian diplomat is coordinating his Mideastern schedule. Tomorrow, he intends to meet with Yasser Arafat in the Gaza strip.
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