It is (almost) official now - the issue of access to Russian nuclear facilities is on its way to becoming a third rail of U.S.-Russian relations. When Condoleezza Rice mentioned in her interview to a Moscow radio station that she is satisfied with the result of her discussions and that she thinks that "we attained better access to these objects", two ministers - Lavrov of foreign affairs and Ivanov of defense - immediately said that nothing of the kind has happened and the question of access has not been discussed at all.

I don't think Rice had something specific in mind, so the ministers (who got into the habit of speaking in unison recently) were technically right. But their reaction tells us that this is a very touchy issue in Moscow.

Ivanov, however, mentioned that DoE and Rosatom (and the military) are working on a document that would outline some inspection measures. The document is expected to be ready by June 30 this year. Isn't it the plan that was mentioned in the "leaked" draft of the Bratislava joint statement and the existence of which Kremlin denied?