Russia and Tajikistan are both willing to work for Afghan political settlement and provide humanitarian aid, said Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, following a conference with President Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan. The two countries greet the establishment of an Afghan provisional government, added the minister. The conference agenda concerned bilateral contacts, the combat readiness of Russia's 201st Division, stationed in Tajikistan, and the current updating of its arsenals and equipment. Both countries are equally interested in those efforts, said Sergei Ivanov. He reported permanent Moscow-Dushanbe contacts and regular opinion exchanges. The two countries share a majority of stances and opinions, remarked the Defence Minister.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea