Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and EU Commissioner for External Relations Christopher Patten, currently on an official visit to Moscow, are to discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday. The European Union is satisfied with the decision to establish the Afghan transitional administration, Christopher Patten told a press conference. According to him, this decision is of great political importance. However, it is necessary to start the analysis and the determination of Afghan economic demands as soon as possible, Patten said. Christopher Patten reminded those present that a conference of donor-countries able to contribute into Afghan economic development is to be held in Tokyo in January 2002. Speaking about the current parallel visits of two EU commissioners for external relations and trade, Patten stressed that it showed the deepening of Russia-EU relations.
Russian military repeatedly thwarted Turkey's attempts to deploy its troops to Syria, and stopped militants from moving further south