Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Halldor Asgrimsson is to come on an official visit to Russia to last till November 3 on Wednesday. This is Asgrimsson's second visit to Russia - he visited Moscow and several towns of Russia's North-West in March 2000. Igor Ivanov and Mikhail Kasyanov visited Iceland in September-November 1999. The boosting of the relations between Russia and Iceland is, first of all, linked with the signing of the Russian-Norwegian-Icelandic Agreement on several fishing aspects in May 1999. This agreement eliminated the problem of Iceland's uncontrolled cod fishing in the open area of the Barents Sea, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti. Thus the principal cause of contradictions between Moscow and Reykjavik was also eliminated, the experts note. The agenda of Moscow's negotiations includes the whole range of issues of the bilateral relations and several international problems. One of the key issues is joint struggle against international terrorism and Afghan settlement, Yakovenko noted. The negotiators are also expected to discuss strategic stability, the necessity to keep the 1972 ABM Treaty and the situation in the Middle East.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.