MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russia’s presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov discussed security issues at their meeting in Moscow on Thursday, following the terrorist attack this week in US city of Boston.
Ivanov expressed condolences to the victims of the Boston bomb attacks on Monday and the massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas on Wednesday.
“The world is becoming less and less secure,” he said. Powell agreed the threat of terrorism has been rising and stressed the need to step up the efforts to counter it, especially preventive measures.
The twin blasts in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings killed three people and injured 183 others.
Casualties in a massive explosion that rocked a fertilizer plant in central Texas on Wednesday are estimated at hundreds of people, with at least 15 dead US media reported. The explosion, the cause of which is as yet unknown, reportedly damaged dozens of buildings in the surrounding area, including a school and a nursing home with over 130 residents.
Ivanov was head of the Russian Security Council in 1999-2001 and defense minister in 2001-2007. Powell was National Security Advisor to President Reagan in 1987-89 and Secretary of State in 2001-2005 under President George W. Bush.
Powell and Ivanov also welcomed President Barack Obama’s recent letter to President Vladimir Putin as a constructive move.
“I haven’t seen the letter but I understand it was a very good letter,” Powell said on the sidelines of the Russia Forum 2013, adding that Ivanov also thinks it was “a good move” on the part of the Obama administration.
On Monday, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon handed over a message from Obama to Putin in the Kremlin. Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said the contained a number of proposals to deepen bilateral dialogue and cooperation, and said Moscow is ready to “pick up” the positive signals coming from the Obama administration.