The intention of the Moldovan leadership to restore the status of the Russian language forms a good basis for its relations with Russia, Russian president Vladimir Putin said at the Kremlin negotiations with his Moldovan counterpart Vladimir Voronin. Putin spoke for developing economic ties and coordinating bilateral efforts on the international arena. He also hailed the initiative to set up a Russian cultural centre in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. The Moldovan president, in turn, confirmed commitment to developing relations with Russia. The fundamental treaty between the two countries to be signed upon the current negotiations will draw the line under Moldova's hesitations as to what policy to opt for, said Vladimir Voronin. In his words, Moldova and Russia will further develop strategic partnership and this treaty is facing bright prospects. The preface of the treaty runs that the Transdniestrian problem can only be solved provided the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova, said Vladimir Voronin. He was satisfied with Russia's stance on the issue. Transdniestria is a self-proclaimed republic mostly populated by Russians in Moldovan territory.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea