At a meeting in the Kremlin on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and George Robertson, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, discussed joint efforts in the struggle against international terrorism, another participant in this meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, reported to journalists. Putin and Robertson also considered some regional questions, such as the situation in the Balkans and the Caucasus, said the foreign minister. To Ivanov, during the conversation the two "checked their watches on topical problems of partner interaction" between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance. It was stated at the meeting that Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance "are now found at a stage of further improvement of partner relations". The sides have agreed to continue this "minute work". In the Kremlin were discussed also questions of "further deepening of Russia-NATO cooperation in the military field", particularly the European antimissile defense, preservation and strengthening of the regime of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said Igor Ivanov. The chief of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that in the Kremlin have been summed up "the first results of joint work" for attributing "a new quality" to the cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance. Igor Ivanov said that the conversation was "very constructive and open-hearted", as a result of which the sides have come to a common opinion that "the Russia-NATO positive dialogue and practical cooperation are to play an important role in the ensurance of international security".
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea