On Monday, Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze met US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Stephen Rademaker, who is currently in Tbilisi. The sides discussed the progress of fulfilling the Treaty of Conventional Forces in Europe and Russia's realization of the Istanbul Agreements on pullout of military bases from the Georgian territory.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Rademaker stressed that "the USA firmly supports Georgia as far as the Istanbul Agreements are concerned and will continue to display this support in the course of negotiations with Russia." Rademaker disproved allegations voiced by some media that he was intending to approach the Georgian leadership to discuss the possibility of the USA using Georgia's military air field in Vaziani during the campaign against Iraq.
The aircraft to command and control troops in the event of a nuclear war is being built on the basis of the new wide-body Ilyushin Il-96-400M