The relationship between Russia and the USA was not prompted by a momentary interest -- it rests on a long-term basis and will continue to develop, the US Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Saturday press conference in Tashkent. According to Powell, relations between the two countries have been changing lately, especially after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. "President Putin has declared decisive support of the US-led fight against terrorism. This has pushed our relations and our cooperation up to an entirely new level," he said. "But our cooperation is not limited to the anti-terrorist struggle only," he remarked, adding that a Friday meeting with Russian representatives in Brussels had resulted in an agreement to strive towards a closer relationship between Russia and NATO by means of arranging "regular meetings between Russia and the 19 alliance members." According to Powell, the agreement "shows that Russia continues integrating into the West through closer work with international organisations." Having noted that he was coming to Russia on Sunday /"for the 15th or 16th time," according to his words/, Powell stressed that his frequent visits to Russia, too, proved that the two countries were enjoying a close relationship.
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