The Russian and French foreign ministers emphasized the necessity of strengthening the international strategic stability based on the 1972 ABM Treaty. The meeting of Igor Ivanov and Hubert Vedrine took place as part of the official visit by French Prime minister Lionel Jospin to the Russian Federation. The ministers pointed out that there had been a high level of political dialogue in bilateral relations. They pronounced, at the same time, for a comprehensive expansion of trade-economic ties. The two countries' ministers analysed the prospects of Russia-EU relations in the light of the recent Brussels summit, along with cooperation in the field of security and the creation of a common economic area. While discussing the most acute international problems, the particular attention was devoted to the situation in Afghanistan and combating international terrorism, which requires joint efforts on behalf of all democratic states.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea