US - Russia
Chronology from Jul 2004 to Oct 2004
: A group of 115 American and European foreign policy specialists, including former and current elected leaders, write a letter to President Bush and other government leaders in NATO and the European Union accusing President Putin of undermining democracy in Russia and turning the country back toward authoritarian rule.
: At a joint U.S.-Russian seminar on oil transportation and oil markets Russian Economy Minister German Gref says that he sees the U.S. as a promising oil export market for Russia.
: U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Russian Atomic Energy head Alexander Rumyantsev convene a two-day conference in Vienna on a global initiative to keep highly radioactive materials out of the reach of terrorists.
: In response to Powell, FM Lavrov announces that he considers unfounded claims by the U.S. that Russia’s new political measures are a step against democratic development.
: U.S. Department of State declares that U.S. assistance to Russia in fiscal year 2004 amounted to $880.38 million.
: Secretary Powell expresses concern that sweeping political changes to fight terrorism proposed by Putin will erode Russia’s democratic reforms.
: President Putin permits the Gazprom natural gas monopoly to acquire the state-owned oil company Rosneft.
: Putin orders sweeping changes to Russia’s political system to help combat terrorism, prompting concern that he is moving to further clamp down on domestic dissent and opposition.
: President Bush makes an unexpected visit to the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC and signs a book of condolences for victims of the school hostage seizure. He expresses outrage at the actions of “evil terrorists.”
: Meeting Western journalists and academic specialists, President Putin lashes out at U.S. and Europe calls to discuss a settlement with the Chechen insurgents.
: Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro inspects disputed “Northern Territories” by boat.
: Chechen terrorists seize a school in the North Ossetian town of Beslan, taking hostage hundreds of children and adults. After a two-day standoff, violence erupts and almost 400 people—mostly children—are killed.
: Terrorists target Moscow metro station, killing 9 and wounding dozens of others in a suicide explosion.
: Two passenger airliners leaving the same Moscow airport on domestic flights explode in mid-air at the same moment over south-central Russia, killing 90 people. The Kremlin at first denies a terrorist link, but then later concedes that it is a coordinated terror attack.
: In a visit to St. Petersburg, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld meets with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov. The two discuss the war on terror and announce impending joint naval maneuvers. They also announce that Moscow and Washington may jointly develop a missile defense system. Ivanov expresses concern about NATO’s expansion into the Baltics.
: With an eye on rising oil prices, the U.S. State Department publicly calls on the Russian government to put aside internal “political considerations” in order to resolve the Yukos matter.
: U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice speaks by telephone with Kremlin chief of staff Dmitry Medvedev about the effect the Yukos case is having on the world oil market.
: The Russian Baltic fleet begins exercises with NATO warships, an historic first.
: Officials from Japanese Marine Security Department meet with officials from Russia’s Federal Border Guard in Vladivostok to discuss further cooperation.
: The Japanese government announces that it will give Russia $77.6 million to study the construction of a Siberian oil pipeline to the Pacific port of Nakhodka.
: Forbes Russia Editor-in-Chief Paul Khlebnikov, a U.S. citizen, is murdered on a Moscow street. The case draws wide attention to Russia’s crime problems.
: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang.
: Russia and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issue a joint declaration on cooperation in fighting international terrorism in Jakarta and agree to improve the exchange of intelligence information.