The Russian-Portuguese high-level talks are underway in the Kremlin. In his opening remarks, the Russian president said that the visit by President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio to Russia would give a new impetus to the Russian-Portuguese relations. Mr. Putin stated that the visit is "a natural continuation" of the dialogue between Russia and Portugal, although this is the first visit of Portugal's leader "in 15 years". The Russian head of state stressed that Russia's and Portugal's foreign policy authorities "are cooperating quite actively." He reminded that the two countries have formed an intergovernmental commission and signed a series of agreements and treaties. In his turn, the president of Portugal has officially invited the Russian leader to come to Portugal next year. He stressed that in 2002, Portugal would chair the OSCE.
US military analysts are concerned about the appearance of a new Russian sniper rifle known as T-5000
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign