One of the themes at the coming meeting between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov will be the problem of the Russian foreign debt. Colin Powell said this himself when he spoke on Thursday at the hearings at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. He said that on Thursday he had had a telephone conversation with Igor Ivanov, during which the Russian Foreign Minister told him that he and the Russian economy ministers would take part in the next meeting with the US Secretary of State on the eve of the Russian-American summit in the United States. The Russian government is seeking to ease the debt burden of country. Russia proposes to write off part of such a debt and to channel the money for the programme ensuring the safe storage of nuclear materials in Russia, said Colin Powell. He added that the problem of the Russian foreign debt had been touched upon last Sunday during the negotiations between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin in Shanghai.
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