Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov will take part in the session of the Russia-NATO Permanent Joint Council. RIA Novosti reports that before the session begins Igor Ivanov is going to meet with NATO secretary general George Robertson, and then a meeting of three foreign ministers including the Belgian foreign minister, will be held. In addition, Igor Ivanov is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Canadian foreign minister John Manley. In the second half of the day Russian foreign minister will meet with High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union Javier Solana. Shortly before Ivanov's visit to Brussels, official representative of the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti that the aim of the session in the Belgian capital will be to search for specific ways of giving a new quality to Russian-NATO relations. This concerns, above all, the transformation of the existing mechanisms of cooperation from the "19 plus 1" format to the political format "20". Moscow believes that within the framework of the new format Russia and NATO could cooperate in working out and implementing joint decisions on the struggle against international terrorism, search for answers to new risks and threats, counter the proliferation of mass destruction weapons, and react to crises. Russia and NATO are going to further develop and use a considerable political potential of the Russia-NATO Founding Act. The session will be held in conditions of cardinal changes in the modern international relations. The joint rebuff on the part of the entire civilized mankind to international terrorism "creates objective possibilities to assess the development of the situation in Europe in a new way."
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23