A formula of the free trade zone between Russia and Ukraine is to be finally worked out in the first quarter of 2002. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov disclosed this to a RIA Novosti correspondent. Opening the session of the Russian-Ukrainian Inter-State Commission on Trade, Economy, Scientific and Technological Co-operation at the President Hotel, Kasyanov confirmed that Russia was prepared to take part in the construction of two blocks at the Rovno and Khmelnitsky nuclear power stations in Ukraine. According to Kasyanov, Russia is ready to offer not only its technologies, but credits as well. He did not state precisely the figures involved. The construction of two blocks at the above-mentioned nuclear power stations is vital to stabilise Ukraine's energy balance following the closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, said the Russian Prime Minister.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea