US - Russia

Chronology from Jul 2003 to Oct 2003

:   First Lady Laura Bush visits Moscow on a “fence-mending mission.”  She discusses with Russian first lady Lyudmila Putin a campaign to promote literature and education.

:   At their summit meeting at Camp David, Putin tells Bush that he will not cancel Russia’s lucrative contract to help Iran build a nuclear energy reactor, though he promises to convince Iranian leaders to abide by IAEA inspections and standards.

: Putin begins his three-day visit to New York and Camp David, Maryland. He gives speeches at the UN General Assembly, the New York Stock Exchange and Columbia University.

: The second annual U.S.-Russia energy summit is held in St. Petersburg and is attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, and 500 leading executives and officials from the oil and gas industry.

: Putin holds a four-hour round table interview with U.S. journalists in Moscow before his journey to the U.S.

: Bolton meets with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak to discuss arms control issues primarily concerning Iran and North Korea.

: State Department announces sanctions on the Russian state-owned arms manufacturer Tula Instrument Design Bureau for alleged sales of hardware to Iran.

: In a statement to the Helsinki Commission, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Steven Pifer says the situation in Chechnya poses a serious challenge to the U.S.-Russian partnership.

: Former U.S. President George W.H. Bush meets with Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi during an informal trip to Russia.

: At a meeting of the 35-nation board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, diplomats from the U.S., France, and Germany press Russia to back a UN nuclear resolution giving Tehran until Oct. 31 to prove it has no secret atomic weapons program.

: First two of six Russian fighter aircraft arrive in Indonesia. The two Sukhoi Su-27s mark a swing for Indonesia from the U.S. as the country’s main supplier of weaponry.

: Six-nation negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear programs begin in Beijing.

: A U.S. congressional delegation, led by Curt Weldon (D, PA), visits a production and storage site for Russian weapons-grade plutonium, an unprecedented visit to this top-secret nuclear facility.

: Under Secretary of State John Bolton meets with Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev in Russia.  Bolton also meets with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak; reportedly they exchange views about Iran and North Korea.

: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher, says that Russian support for nuclear activity in Iran has decreased as a result of U.S. diplomatic efforts.

: U.S. F-15s and F-16s make their first appearances in Russian skies at the Moscow International Air Show.  B-52 makes an appearance on the second day.

: Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visits Moscow to promote the continuation of the Nunn-Lugar program to destroy Soviet-era nuclear weapons.

: In New Jersey, FBI agents arrest Hemant Lakhani, a U.K. citizen of Indian descent, trying to sell a Russian-made portable anti-aircraft missile, in a sting operation that began in 2001 with a tip that Lakhani was seeking to buy weapons in St. Petersburg. Russian law enforcement authorities cooperate with FBI officials during the operation.

: Secretary of State Colin Powell announces that the State Department has designated Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev a threat to U.S. security; a move long called for by the Russian government.

:   Chevron-Texaco announces that it is in talks to take a 25 percent stake in Yukos, Russia’s second biggest oil company, in a deal worth up to $6 billion.  Speculation in Russia is that the Kremlin will scupper the deal, as it is unhappy with Yukos CEO Khodorkovsky. Eventually Yukos merges with the Russian oil company Sibneft.

: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Losyukov says that though Russia is not happy about the U.S. military presence in Central Asia, he thinks it is justified.

: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage meets in Moscow with Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov for talks preceding the September summit of Presidents Bush and Putin at Camp David.  Trubnikov announces, “The threat of terrorism is at the center of the Russia-U.S. dialogue.”

: A high-level U.S. Energy Department delegation, led by Deputy Energy Secretary Kyle McSlarrow, visits Murmansk, the Russian port from which Washington eventually hopes to import Russian crude. Two days earlier McSlarrow signed a protocol with Russian Deputy Energy Minister Oleg Gordeyev aimed at strengthening cooperation in oil field development.

: Ambassador Vershbow announces that Washington cannot guarantee the safety of Russia’s embassy in Baghdad, prompting an angry response from Moscow.  In April, Russian diplomats had allegedly been wounded by U.S. troops during the early days of the war. Vershbow also suggested that Russian diplomats in Baghdad might know the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein.

: Russian businessman Platon Lebedev is arrested and imprisoned in Moscow on charges of fraud and embezzlement.  Lebedev is the deputy and confidante of Yukos (YukosSibneft) CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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