Moscow welcomes the initiative of British Premier Tony Blair to establish closer Russia-NATO relations, Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, was quoted as saying on Monday. According to him, Russia and NATO should "establish a new partnership," which will unite the Russian and NATO potential in response to the new threats and challenges. The Minister added that the NATO Secretary General would visit Moscow in the near future, and this December would see the session of the joint Russia-NATO standing council in Brussels. According to Ivanov, the agenda of these meetings also includes the discussion of this issue. "There are no answers ready, but we believe it is important that there is a political will to find them," the Russian diplomat said. He maintains that when searching for the ways to establish a more effective cooperation, Moscow and NATO should not use the "19 plus 1" formula. The Minister stated that it was necessary to find new patterns ensuring that all participants would be equal when discussing the objectives and looking for ways to achieve them."
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