Addressing Jean-Pierre Kelche, the chief of the General Staff of French Armed Forces, during a Moscow meeting, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said the prospects of Russian-French defence and security cooperation look promising. The relationship between two countries' defence ministries is based on a long-standing tradition and has "good prospects for the future," remarked Ivanov, who links the latter to projected changes in the format of Russia-NATO relations as well as to "Russia's positive attitude to defence and security institutes that are being set up in Europe." The minister plans to bring up this issue during a meeting with his French counterpart, which is due next week in the framework of Ivanov's visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels. He is also expected to discuss co-planning of peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and in the Balkans.
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience