Moscow has called upon Israel and Palestine to show flexibility in order to break the deadlock over Yassir Arafat's residence in Ramallah, runs an official statement by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko. Active attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the dangerous situation around Yasser Arafat's residence in Ramallah have been made over the past few days, says the document. There is a proposal to pass over the insiders whose surrender is urged by Israel to American or British personnel to be later placed in one of the Palestinian prisons. Contacts are to be continued today. The statement also insists on giving freedom of movement to the head of the Palestinian national authority both within the confines of Palestinian territories and in other countries. Moscow declares, says the statement, its support for efforts aimed at settling the problem by non-violent methods and calls upon the Israeli government and Palestine's leadership to display a flexible and constructive approach. Alexander Yakovenko also pointed to the necessity of unblocking the situation around the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and letting urgent humanitarian aid penetrate Palestinian territories. Alexander Yakovenko underlined that resolutions No. 1402, 1403 and 1405 of the UN Security Council should be fulfilled in full so as to overcome hindrances to implementing a security measures programme and recommendations by the George Mitchell commission, including resumption of the negotiating process.
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