Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Ivanov has met with the Ambassadors of the fifteen European Union member states and the head of the representation of the UN Commission in Moscow on the occasion of the end of Belgium's chairmanship in the EU. The prospects of development of relations of Russia and the European Union in the context of the implementation of the decisions of the Russia-EU summit in Brussels, and topical international problems, including the situation in Afghanistan, in the Balkans and in the Middle East, were discussed at the meeting held on Wednesday. A meaningful exchange of opinion on questions of strengthening strategic stability in the world and the future of the disarmament process with due account for the decision, announced by US president George Bush, on withdrawal from the ABM Treaty of 1972, and the prospects of the Russia-USA dialogue on these problems took place. Russian-Bulgarian consultations with the participation of First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation A. Avdeyev and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria I. Petkov were held in Moscow on the same day. The sides discussed a wide range of questions of bilateral cooperation, including the schedule of political contacts for a short term. The mutual striving for more intensive interaction in different fields was confirmed. During the consideration of topical international problems special attention was paid to the themes of countering terrorism, strengthening European security and cooperation, and the situation in the Balkans.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea