According to the US Embassy in Moscow, Undersecretary John Bolton has arrived in Moscow to attend the talks between the Russian and US defence ministers, which will begin on April 29th. Early last week, Moscow advanced several new ideas during the fourth round of Russo-American talks on the preparation of documents for the May summit. John Bolton took them to Washington for detailed consideration. The USA is expected to provide its answers to Moscow's ideas during the talks of their defence ministers. Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov said about the results of last week's talks that the sides had harmonised the text of the agreement on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons, "although brackets still remain in places of difference." The Russian diplomat said "some differences are concerned with the methods and verification of cuts." During their summit in the USA, Vladimir Putin and George Bush reached an agreement concerning a link between the strategic offensive and defensive weapons. At present the sides are working on a strategic arms reduction treaty and a declaration of new Russia-USA strategic relations. A vital chapter of the latter document will be devoted to strategic defensive weapons.
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