Putin Initiative To Defuse Tension

St. Petersburg: | Updated: May 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said he expected to meet Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf for talks in Almaty early next month, even as Moscow strongly condemned a missile test by Islamabad and asked it to move from “words to deeds” in demonstrating its genuine desire for political dialogue with India.

Mr Putin told newsmen while visiting St. Petersburg’s hermitage museum with US President George W Bush that he expected to meet the Indian and Pakistani leaders early June in a bid to defuse the prevailing tension between them.

“I hope they will come, so that we can discuss the matter here and prevent further escalation of the conflict,” he said.