President Bush will send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Moscow later this month for talks with their Russian counterparts.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday that the two will travel to the Russian capital March 17-18 for discussions on a wide range of bilateral issues, including missile defense, cooperation on nonproliferation and counter-terrorism.

She said that Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the upcoming meeting during a phone call last week.

Perino added that "both agreed it would be a good idea."