Moscow has welcomed results of the second Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on "Inhuman" Weapons, held in Geneva. A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry has told RIA Novosti that Moscow views "the forum and its decisions as a major stage in efforts to make the Convention and its protocols universal and to further improve international humanitarian law." The results of the conference convincingly show the high potential of the multilateral disarmament process. Moscow expresses hope that this "local" success will help to positively influence this difficult, actually crisis, situation in this sphere. The spokesman noted that Russia was one of the first states to sign and ratify the Convention on "Inhuman" Weapons and three of its four protocols. Russia also signed and observes the Amended "Mine" Protocol II to the Convention, documents for the ratification of which have already been submitted by the president to the State Duma [the lower house of the Russian parliament], the spokesman said.
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