Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to Brussels will end on Wednesday. On December 18 Ivanov participated in the meeting of the Russia-NATO Joint Permanent Council on the level of defence ministers. The meeting focused on the new relations between Russia and NATO, in particular, on counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Russia and NATO exchanged letters on the opening of the NATO military liaison mission in Moscow. Sergei Ivanov held consultations with US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on bilateral relations and strategic stability. On Wednesday the Russian minister is to participate in the meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on the level of defence ministers. After that Ivanov will meet his Belgian counterpart Andre Flahaut. They will sign the Russian-Belgian agreement on military cooperation. The Russian Defence Minister's visit to Brussels will end with his report "Russia and European Security" in the Royal Higher Institute for Defence. Then Ivanov will leave Brussels and head for London.
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