Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
We are going to discuss today one of the key issues connected with national security, the strengthening of the system of export control.
The system was created to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery. The problem is still one of the main international threats. This is an opinion shared by the international community and this is our opinion. The problem takes on added relevance because some countries are trying to gain access to technologies of building their own nuclear and missile weapons.
Export control should also help us to deal with our economic problems and provide a reliable instrument for protecting Russia’s economic interests. So, we keep all the problems connected with export control under constant review of the Government, the Security Council and the President.
Much has been accomplished. We have established the legal framework, passed the Law on Export Control, and set up concrete mechanisms and specialised administrative agencies. On January 29, I signed the decree establishing the Committee on Export Control. Its members include top officials of several ministries and agencies and it is headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Government, Mr Klebanov.
We are ready and will continue to expand cooperation in preventing the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery with all the interested parties. We are ready to have a substantive dialogue in this field with NATO and the European Union countries and others.
The Russian special services have an important role to play in the successful development of this dialogue. We have recently discussed it with the executives of the corresponding agencies and I hope we will revisit the problem today.
The measure of the effectiveness of export control is how successfully we solve the following tasks.
First, how reliably we protect our national interests by preventing the leakage of sensitive technologies abroad. Export control should be an effective filter to prevent unauthorised transfer of developments and discoveries that are critical for the nation.
And second, also a very important area: we must fully comply with our international obligations to prevent the export of equipment, materials and technologies that can be used to develop weapons of mass destruction and missiles for their delivery.
The strengthening of export control will require substantial budgetary outlays. The Government should factor in these expenditures even now, as the 2002 budget is being prepared.