The Russian and Turkmen foreign ministers have signed the protocol on cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkmenistan for 2002 in Ashkhabad. "On the basis of this document the sides will discuss a wide range of issues and will form the ground for the work of the two countries' experts," Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov told a joint press conference. According to his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, Moscow is satisfied with the development of relations between the Russian and Turkmen Foreign Ministries. Moscow intends to help Turkmenistan train diplomatic staff and to solve other problems. Speaking about the situation in Afghanistan, he stressed that both Russia and Turkmenistan are participating in the anti-terrorist coalition. "The international communities should render economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghan people and should help to restore a normal life in order to prevent any threats from Afghan territory," Igor Ivanov said.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia