US ambassador to Moscow Alexander Vershbow has not confirmed Monday that President George W. Bush might visit Russia in April. In his words, the official visit had been earlier scheduled for the middle of 2001. He recalled that during Putin-Bush meeting, the Russian side suggested that Bush visit Russia at a period of "white nights" in St. Petersburg. At the same time, Alexander Vershbow refuted a report that US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would visit Moscow this week. However, the US diplomat noted, Donald Rumsfeld would meet his Russian counterpart in Brussels.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.