The North Korean nuclear programme and the launching of the Middle East roadmap will be in the centre of the regional part of the upcoming negotiations between Igor Ivanov and Colin Powell, Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti ahead of Powell's visit to Moscow on May 14-15.
According to the diplomat, the situation around North Korea remains "an acute topic" of the international agenda. "Russia consistently stands for a political and diplomatic solution aimed at the non-nuclear status of the Korean peninsula and secure development of both Korean states," Yakovenko noted. He added that Moscow hoped to have "a thorough exchange of opinions, primarily in the context of the USA-DPRK-China consultations aimed at finding the ways of peaceful settlement to the crisis." "Russia is ready, if necessary, to join the negotiating process," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
At their negotiations, Ivanov and Powell will continue to discuss co-operation for the Middle East peaceful settlement. The parties will in particular touch upon the implementation of the roadmap published by the Quartet of international mediators.
"An important issue of the international and regional importance is the situation in Afghanistan, in particular, the interaction between Russia and the US in the fight against the drugs threat emanating from that country," Yakovenko said.
The further stepping up of Russia-U.S. co-operation in the fight against international terrorism and other new challenges both via bilateral channels and in a multilateral format will be considered, along with closer co-ordination of efforts in the search for adequate responses to terrorist threats related to the use of the WMD and for eliminating financial sources of terrorism.
The aircraft to command and control troops in the event of a nuclear war is being built on the basis of the new wide-body Ilyushin Il-96-400M