Moscow's Jan. 31 joint board session of the foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus - the member-states of the treaty on creation of a union state - will analyze the implementation of a program of Russia's and Belarus' coordinated actions in the international arena in 2000 and 2001, announced Belarus Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh. After summing up the results of the past two years, the participants in the forthcoming board session will approve a new draft program, designed for 2002 and 2003. According to Savinykh, they are also going to discuss a plan of consultations between the two countries' foreign ministries (at the level of ministers, deputy ministers, and department heads) on some of the topical problems of the two countries' foreign policies. This will be the second board session of Russia's and Belarus' foreign ministries. The first such session took place in Minsk in February 2000. It was this maiden session that adopted the program of Russia's and Belarus' coordinated actions in the international arena in 2000 and 2001.
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