Vladimir Putin: At its last session today, the State Duma passed some important decisions, including the ratification of a multilateral nuclear environmental programme that envisages joint work with our foreign partners on the disposal of Russian nuclear submarines.
The programme applies above all to the submarines of the former Soviet Union in northwest Russia. In fact, it paves the way for the start of practical work. I am aware that the Ministry [of Atomic Energy] has already signed contracts worth $100 million for this work.
Of course Russia believes that this is, above all, our own concern and we are allocating as much money for it as we can. This year 2 billion roubles have been earmarked for the purpose. But of course the ratification of the nuclear ecological programme is a serious step in solving the problem as a whole. I must say that something has been accomplished this year and last year in other areas. In 2002 and 2003 the Ministry managed to remove contaminated soil and radioactive waste from the Kurchatov Institute in the centre of Moscow and dispose of them.
I am aware that Grigory Alekseyevich [Yavlinsky] and his colleagues from Yabloko have become specialists in these matters and have repeatedly raised the problem of the Kurchatov Institute in their discussions with the Ministry.
That work has been completed and another very important task has been tackled. I mean the work on the Techensky cascade in the Chelyabinsk Region.
But today, I would like to discuss the broader problems of nuclear security. That is why I have suggested that we meet in this format. And anyway we had been planning such a meeting with Grigory Alekseyevich for some time.
Grigory Yavlinsky: For a year.
Vladimir Putin: Less than a year… We agreed on a meeting about six months ago. I would like the Minister to first tell us how he sees the situation in this sphere, including the launching of the work of the commission which we agreed to set up several months ago when I signed a decree to that effect.