Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov To Arrive In Washington On A Short Working Visit

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Wednesday will pay a one-day working visit to Washington. An agreement about it was achieved during Igor Ivanov's telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Colin Powell several days ago. As US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow said in an interview with RIA Novosti, the negotiations between the Russian Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State will be the main event of the visit. At the same time it is quite possible that Igor Ivanov will have a meeting in the White House. The main theme of the negotiations will be the preparations for the meeting of Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush when the Russian President visits the United States in the middle of November. They will also discuss other topics, including the building of a new strategic framework between Washington and Moscow. We would like to find a common approach to the transition from the ABM Treaty to a new agreement on strategic stability, said Alexander Vershbow. Moscow continues to insist that the ABM Treaty of 1972 is an important element of strategic stability and "it would be dangerous to refrain from it," especially with the absence of new all-embracing agreements on the START-ABM interconnected issues. Igor Ivanov and Colin Powell will also discuss other items on the agenda of the coming summit of the two presidents - economic and investment questions on which there is an appreciable movement forward but still much has to be done, as well as the fight against international terrorism and the future of Afghanistan. Russia and the United States proceed from the considerations that this process should go on under the aegis of the United Nations, and that the future leadership in Kabul should represent all ethnic groups of the country and enjoy a wide international support. Apart from that, the Russian Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State are expected to discuss in detail the joint documents to be signed at this summit.

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