In answer to a question about the wrecked submarine Kursk, the President said that, as far as he knew, the situation was critical but everything was being done to rescue the crew.
Mr Putin said that, at an informal meeting on August 18–19 in Yalta, the CIS countries’ leaders would discuss relations within the Commonwealth of Independent States and a number of international issues, including the upcoming United Nations Millennium Summit. Central Asian developments, including terrorist attempts to invade Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, were a source of great concern for Russia. Economic development would also come under CIS leaders’ discussion, Mr Putin said.
There was a question concerning his morning meeting with spokesmen of the Academy of Sciences. The President said he would continue his discussion with leading scientists and representatives of the Academy on establishing a presidential council on science.