A Taliban rout in Afghanistan does not mean victory over terrorism, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, and George Robertson, NATO Secretary-General, said to the media after Moscow negotiations. The Taliban are not yet vanquished by far, and the terror danger will not be rooted out even when they are. The Taliban regime still has 20% of the Afghan territory in control, and is getting considerable support from without--there are money donations, reinforcements and arms supplies. The anti-terror coalition has not yet even started to cope with those dangers, said the minister. The Taliban have retreated but are still active, added George Robertson as he voiced complete accord with Mr. Ivanov.
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