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.
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