Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and Canadian Ambassador to Russia Rodney Irvin discussed arrangements for the bilateral inter-departmental consultations on strategic stability scheduled for November 30. They focused on the pressing issues of Russian-Canadian bilateral relations in the light of the preparations for Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's visit to Canada scheduled for December 9-11, the press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry has said. The sides pointed out a rapid development of all aspects of Russian-Canadian political dialogue which "should be supplemented with a closer economic relationship". "There are all the necessary preconditions for this," the Foreign Ministry stressed. In addition, they stressed the necessity for further consolidation of the efforts of the world community (including Russia and Canada which is to preside at G8 in 2002) to rebuff new challenges and global threats, above all, international terrorism, and to strengthen strategic stability.
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