The principal aim of the Croatian parliamentary speaker's visit to Moscow is the consolidation and expansion of parliamentary ties with Russia within the framework of political and economic relations, Croatian speaker Zlatko Tomcic told a press conference in Moscow, following his meetings with Russian State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov and Deputy Federation Council speaker Alexander Torshin. Speaking about bilateral economic cooperation, Tomcic said that Russia holds the 5th place among Croatian trade partners. In 2001 Russia supplied goods to Croatia for 650 million dollars and imported Croatian goods (telecommunications equipment, medicines and food) for 83 million dollars. Moscow meetings of the Croatian guest will focus on the expansion of inter-parliamentary relations between Russia and Croatia, the political situation in Eastern Europe, Moscow and Zagreb's relations with the USA and the European Union and bilateral counter-terrorist cooperation.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.