The Russian Foreign Ministry regards the OSCE Foreign Minister Council's ninth session, held in Bucharest Tuesday, as a significant political event of the year. The ministry makes this view clear in a statement circulated by its press department today. The OSCE foreign ministerial session in Bucharest brought together representatives of the 55 member states, as well as of associated countries and leading international and regional organizations. The Russian delgation was headed by head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Igor Ivanov. In the Russian Foreign Ministry's judgement, the delegates had a rather meaningful discussion, marking the beginning of the process of the OSCE getting out of the crisis that the organization had been facing in the last few years. The delegates' speeches and the documents they signed reflect their common approach to the changing global situation and their firm intention to join hands in confronting the new century's challenges, above all, international terrorism, the ministry's statement points out. As a foundation for interaction between nations in this sphere, the OSCE Council of Ministers adopted a plan of actions toward a stronger role of the OSCE in combating terrorism. The participants in the forum also adopted several resolutions on further promotion of OSCE reform. They agreed to continue working on the international Convention that regulates issues related to the OSCE's legal capacity and the privileges and immunity of its bodies and institutions, says the statement. The Russian Foreign Ministry also points to what it describes as a "balanced" document on the situation in southeastern Europe, which identifies guidelines for the OSCE's activity to restore and develop that region, showing due respect for the states' sovereignty and territorial integrity and preserving their borders and multi-ethnic character. In 2002, the rotating OSCE presidency shall be taken over by Portugal. The next meeting of OSCE ministers will be held in the city of Porto, in Portugal, November-December of 2002, announces Russia's Foreign Ministry.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated