Heads of Russian and US defence departments meet in the VIP hall of Sheremetyevo-1 airport

The working meeting between heads of the Russian and US defence departments, Sergei Ivanov and Donald Rumsfeld is being held in the VIP hall at Sheremetyevo-1 airport. The Pentagon chief arrived early in Moscow from Alma-Ata where he had been staying on a visit. He had a talk with US ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow on board the plane for about an hour. Then Sergei Ivanov arrived in the airport and after a protocol handshake he went with the guest to a special negotiation hall. Earlier the Russian defence minister told journalists that this working meeting would be held at the initiative of the USA. Though the sides did not coordinate the questions to be discussed in advance, Sergei Ivanov believes that the point at issue will be progress in START negotiations and the situation in Afghanistan, which Rumsfeld visited in the course of his current Central Asian tour, and in other hot spots. A short press conference will be held when the negotiations are over.

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