Condoleezza Rice Visit to Moscow

US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Moscow to show that Washington is committed to long-term strategic partnership with Russia, the US Embassy in Moscow reported. Differences over the Iraqi issue have strained US-Russian relations. The USA "is looking forward to exchanging views with the Russians on how best to move forward" regardless of the current differences.

Russia's Foreign Ministry reported that Ms Rice had already met Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and was due to meet Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov and Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo.

CNN referring to Washington administration sources reported that Condoleezza Rice would discuss the attack on the Russian convoy in Iraq.

The US Embassy said that the US Central Command had been informed of the diplomatic convoy's departure and its route. Three people suffered minor injuries, another two Russians were slightly wounded. A RIA Novosti correspondent in Damascus learned that one diplomatic official had been operated on. Two bullets of the M-16 automatic rifle used by the US Army and Marines were taken out.

Russian TV journalist Alexander Minakov travelling with the convoy said that the shots that hit the cars of the Russian diplomats and journalists leaving Baghdad came from US forces. Minakov said that the cars came under heavy fire when they were passing Iraqi positions.