Russian Foreign minister describes talks with U.S. counterpart as meaningful

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has described as meaningful his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington D.C. He says substantial progress has been made toward the presidential summit in Moscow in late May. As he appeared before the media following the talks, Ivanov pointed out that Russia and the United States were both interested in constructive and predictable partnership and that the two sides expected the forthcoming summit to produce agreements that would bring them closer to their goal. Secretary of State Powell, for his part, reaffirmed to reporters that the sides had made headway toward setting a strategic framework for the new U.S.-Russian relationship. "There are still outstanding issues, but I think I can say that we're both encouraged by the progress that we made today," Powell said. Noting that the United States and Russia are now intensively working toward preparing a legally-binding agreement for the May 23-26 presidential summit, the U.S. Secretary of State announced some additional work to be done both at the foreign ministerial and the defense ministerial levels. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and U.S. Under-Secretary of State John Bolton are expected to meet later this month to contribute to the preparation of the arms deal, he said. A senior source in the Administration said the Mamedov-Bolton meeting was to be held in Moscow in a week's time.