Russia could become part of NATO political structures, without joining its military organisation like France did. Thus, Russia could gain political clout in NATO, without participating in the military component. Alexander Shokhin, chairman of the State Duma committee on credit organisations and financial markets, said as much at a round-table session held at the Moscow house of public organisations. According to the Russian parliamentarian, in the present-day international situation Russia is becoming a leading partner of the United States. Washington will not contrive to build up a system of countering fresh threats without stability in Russia, he maintains. Shokhin holds that these threats include not only those emanating from the so-called rogue states which have access to nuclear weapons. Those who intend to imitate the suicidal attacks on New York are also posing considerable threat. With the current international situation, the United States needs a powerful, stable and predictable Russia, Shokhin said. According to him, Russia is already turning into the leading US partner ahead of the majority of NATO member states.
Twenty years later, the cause of death of 118 Kursk submariners remains a mystery. the Russian navy was unable to save the dying men.