Russian-US relations have thoroughly changed. Skyrocketing confidence and a far greater partnership scope are in the foreground here, President Vladimir Putin said to the committees for international affairs of the two Russian parliamentary houses. Some people think current partnership is a mere tactical rapprochement caused by the latest global developments. They are wrong. What is coming up is a programme for long-term partnership. Both federal presidents share the point, and it found reflection in their communique which crowned a recent bilateral summit. The two countries certainly owe their closer ties to global changes, to a large extent. Such changes have to be reckoned with if Russia wants a beneficial climate around--an atmosphere which will promote economic and production progress, which is the principal national goal, said President Putin. As he commented summitry with President George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin highlighted the great political importance of the US President's and Congressional leaders' intention to work for the discriminatory Jackson-Vanik amendment abolished in Russia's respect. The United States is willing to pace up efforts for the Russian economy market status recognised. It pledges not to be over-exacting with provisos for Russia to join the World Trade Organisation, and to take Russian economic interests into account in tackling regional problems. President Putin approved his economic debates on the US top, and American leaders' intention to dynamically promote commercial, economic and investment contacts with Russia. All that is quite different from previous sceptical American attitudes to Russia in the economic sphere, he remarked.
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