In Brussels, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Secretary General George Robertson have exchanged messages on the opening of a NATO liaison mission in Moscow. This took place at a Tuesday session of the Russia-NATO Permanent Council at the level of defense ministers. Before the ceremony, the Russian minister said that Russia "actively participates in forming the 21st-century security architecture". To him, this architecture is to ensure security for all European countries "irrespective of whether they belong to any unions or blocs". In Ivanov's opinion, herein lies the main principle of the new security system, Relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "very much shape this process", said the chief of the Russian military establishment. In turn, Robertson welcomed the forthcoming opening of the NATO mission in Moscow and recalled that on Tuesday the NATO defense ministers have set down to implement the NATO Council's decision, adopted at a foreign-ministerial level, to establish the new joint council in the 20-states format.
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