The first session of the Consultative Group for Strategic Security, with the participation of the Foreign and Defence Ministers of Russia and the Secretaries of State and of Defence of the United States - Igor Ivanov, Sergei Ivanov, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld, will take place in Washington on Friday. This Consultative Group was set up in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the President Vladimir Putin and President George W. Bush about new strategic relations between the Russian Federation and the United States. The Declaration was signed in Moscow in May this year.
According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this session is to discuss, first of all, the issues connected with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the problems of anti-missile defence, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and some regional problems.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes that regular sessions of the Consultative Group for Strategic Security, under the leadership of the heads of the Russian Foreign and Defence Ministries and of the American Departments of State and of Defence, will become an important channel for a trustworthy dialogue between Moscow and Washington.
The Russian co-chairmen of the Consultative Group, Sergei Ivanov and Igor Ivanov, will be received today by US President George W. Bush. According to the US side, this meeting will also discuss the situation around Iraq.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969