On Tuesday President Vladimir Putin of Russia had a telephone conversation with his US counterpart George W. Bush. A spokesman for the Kremlin press service reported to RIA Novosti that the talk was initiated by the USA. George Bush disclosed the key aspects of his speech on "the new vision of how to maintain peace in the world" he was to deliver later that day. He laid a particular stress on the fact that the USA did not intend to make unilateral decisions on strategic stability. Thanking his U.S. interlocutor for the information, Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia's readiness to cooperate with the USA in a joint effort to further reduce nuclear weapons, find solutions to counteract potential threats not violating the structure of disarmament treaties set up in the course of the last 30 years. Coordination of actions between Russia and the USA in the effort to settle regional problems was in the focus of the conversation. In this connection the presidents, in particular, exchanged opinions on prospective efforts to contribute to Mideast settlement. The heads of state discussed preparations for a Russia-USA summit meeting slated for this summer and the visit by the Russian foreign minister to the USA coming in mid-May as the next stage in the pre-summit arrangements. The Kremlin spokesman reports that the presidents agreed to continue regular exchange of opinions on the topical issues of Russia-USA relations and the international developments beyond the summit schedules.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.