Official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko has told journalists that the US authorities have suspended additional luggage checks in relation to Aeroflot passengers. He said that the decision to implement the delay until January 19th had been taken after the Russian side had made a request to this effect and as a result of close co-operation between the Russian embassy and Washington. Yakovenko said that, according to a new law on air safety and the progamme, 'The American system of preliminary information about passengers,' air-carriers must overhaul their data exchange networks to provide the US with relevant information. However, until the delay expires, Yakovenko said that Aeroflot would continue to supply the competent US bodies with information about its passengers travelling to the States through the usual channels, i.e. fax and e-mail, unless specifically asked to do otherwise.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart