The State Duma (lower house of parliament) has ratified an agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on jurisdiction and mutual legal assistance in cases connected with the temporary stay of Russia's army units on the territory of Belarus. Russia's Defence Ministry spokesman Valentin Bogdanchikov, when submitting the agreement to a plenary session of the State Duma, said that the agreement was signed in Minsk on January 6, 1995. According to him, it set limits to the application of the legislation of the Russian Federation and of the Republic of Belarus in deciding questions connected with the temporary stay of Russian military units on the territory of Belarus. This, the spokesman said, provides legal and social protection for Russian servicemen doing their tour of duty on the territory of Belarus.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea