Russian, Moldavian, Ukrainian Foreign Ministers have adopted a joint statement on settlement in the self-proclaimed Republic of Transdniestria on the territory of Moldova. The three ministers met during a general discussion on political issues held under 56th session of UN General Assembly. The statement features the ministers' affirmation of their "shared position aimed at prompt, comprehensive and just settlement in the region, based on observing the principle of territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and firmly securing for Transdniestria a reliably guaranteed status upon mutual agreement." Providing for uninterrupted process of negotiations on the problem of Transdniestria was also marked as necessary, it being the key to advancing to compromise and resolving contradictions between the sides. "Renewal of consultations of political experts in the existing quintilateral format" is thought by the three diplomats a first priority measure. In this context, Russian and Ukrainian ministers confirm willingness of their countries to administer all efforts for the sake of political settlement of the Transdniestrian problem. The three ministers expressed support for "contacts between Moldavian and Transdniestrian sides, holding debates and overcoming problems, including those in the sphere of customs services work." The ministers also welcomed "fulfillment ahead of time of commitments, taken in November 1999 in Istanbul, as to withdraw and liquidate weapons and equipment, deposited on the territory of Transdniestria and subject to limitations stipulated in the treaty on conventional arms in Europe."
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea