By meeting with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus in the Kremlin Wednesday President Vladimir Putin of Russia has started a series of meetings with his counterparts which are part of an upcoming CIS summit. On Thursday, Vladimir Putin is expected to meet presidents of Ukraine, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. On the same day, Putin and Ukrainian leader Leonid Kuchma will take part in the opening of Ukraine's Year in Russia. The main functions of the jubilee summit are scheduled for Friday. On that day Vladimir Putin will meet the Georgian president. Other meetings with CIS summiteers "in various formats" are also possible.
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