Russia may play a "befitting and effective role" in the multi-polar world. This is evidenced by the role that Russia is playing in the world, and the efforts it is currently making to choose a national development model and counteracting the establishment of a unipolar world order. President of Iran Mohammad Khatami expressed this opinion addressing the deputies of the Lower House of Russia's Parliament. According to RIA Novosti, Mr. Khatami stressed that the drawing closer of Iran and Russia complies with the interests of the peoples of both countries and poses no threat to others. He noted that Iran and Russia are making a considerable contribution to ensuring the security of two regions, as well as to establishing peace and supporting Iran's economic development. He said that "the fact that Iran and Russia are neighbours has in the course of centuries promoted the establishment of strong ties between them." President Khatami noted that cooperation between the two countries had received a strong impulse in the past few years. Thus, he went on, a number of joint projects are being carried out at present. This includes, in particular, conclusion of the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and creation of the North-South transport corridor. Apart from that, the draft is being studied of the construction of new nuclear and thermal power plants and of oil projects, and scientific and industrial ties between the two countries are developing. Addressing Russia’s MPs, the Iranian president expressed the view that it was necessary to raise the level of regional cooperation in connection with problems of the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, the Near and Middle East. Mr. Khatami expressed the hope that the joint efforts of the two countries and, in particular, of their parliaments will make it possible to expand the possibility for ensuring cooperation in many spheres.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)