Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the level of relations between Russia and Ukraine "meets the interests of both peoples." The president emphasised that "no one will be able to disrupt" their mutual cooperation, even if one would be very anxious to do so. Commenting on whether the coming elections in Ukraine will affect Russian-Ukrainian relations and their momentum, the Russian head of state expressed hope that after parliamentary elections in Ukraine, which will be held in March 2002, a new Supreme Rada would reflect the interests of the Ukrainian people, as it is doing now. The Ukrainian president, in turn, expressed his conviction that with the present level of cooperation between the governments, ministries and departments of Russia and Ukraine "no domestic policy can influence the level" of Russian-Ukrainian relations. "No storms or political passions can influence" the level of Russian-Ukrainian relations, Kuchma emphasised. He also pointed to the high level of trust between the two presidents.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land