The foreign ministers of Russia and Costa Rica at their meeting in New York signed a programme for cultural and scientific cooperation between the two countries in the period until 2003. Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexander Yakovenko has told journalists that the document reflects the countries' mutual interest in stepping up bilateral humanitarian cooperation and is intended to give a new impetus to the further development and deepening of relations between the two countries in all spheres. Yakovenko said the two ministers reached agreement that Russia will continue training Costa Rican grant-aided students. In all, about 800 Costa Ricans have received higher, secondary or special education in Russia, he said. The Russian foreign minister has also met with his Cuban counterpart to discuss international problems and bilateral cooperation.
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