Russian, British Defence Ministers to discuss bilateral cooperation

The Russian and British Defence Ministers will discuss international security and bilateral cooperation.

Sergei Ivanov and Geoffrey Hoon arrived in St. Petersburg on July 15. They are to hold an informal private meeting, the British Embassy in Moscow told RIA Novosti.

In addition, a wide cultural programme is in store for Geoffrey Hoon, the British diplomats said. He is to visit the State Hermitage (one of world's largest art-historical museums) and the Piskarev cemetery, where some 500,000 victims of Leningrad's blockade (1941-1944) were buried.

The ministers are expected to give a press conference, following the closed talks, Russian Defence Ministry's press secretary Nikolai Deryabin told RIA Novosti. After that, Sergei Ivanov will leave St. Petersburg and head for Norway on an official visit.

Geoffrey Hoon will stay in St. Petersburg till July 17. He is expected to meet with Colonel-General Valentin Bobryshev, the chief of the Leningrad military district.

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