On Friday, the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly opened in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
352 parliamentarians from 26 NATO member countries, 13 Partner countries, including Russia, and representatives from 8 observer countries are taking part in the session.
Anti-terrorist fight, the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO-EU relations in the sphere of security, nuclear non-proliferation and NATO's cooperation with the neighbouring states, first of all Russia and Ukraine, are on the agenda.
The Russia-NATO Permanent Parliamentary Committee will gather for a session on Friday. When the session is over the heads of the delegations will be received by Slovakian President Rudolf Schuster.
On Tuesday, June 1st Bratislava will be hosting a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly to gather NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Sheffer, Slovakian President Rudolf Schuster and IAEA Director General Mohammad al-Baradei. The session of the Parliamentary Assembly will close later on the day.
Slovakia joined the North Atlantic Alliance together with another six countries - Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Estonia on April 2, 2004. In an interview with the Czech News Agency CTK Chairman of the Slovak Parliament Pavol Hrusovsky called the session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bratislava "the largest foreign political event in Slovakia's modern history." Extra security measures are accompanying the session of the Parliamentary Assembly. Security has been intensified on Thursday after 2 packages of explosives were discovered tens of metres away from the building the session is taking place in Bratislava.
"We should use shock therapy to sober up the Americans. In this case, the Americans will speak about the need to resume dialogue. There is no other option"
The United States is concerned about the current crisis in the relations with Russia and suggests returning to reasonable policies to avoid a nuclear war