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RUSSIA WILL FURTHER PARTICIPATE IN INTERNATIONAL SPACE PROGRAMS - PUTIN

Interfax Presidential Bulletin 12 April 2000

The Russian Security Council is likely to consider the development of the Russian space industry at one of its future meetings, Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin told Russian cosmonauts and managers of the Russian space industry on Wednesday.

Such a possibility was discussed during his Wednesday talks with chief of the Russian Space Agency Yuri Koptev and presidential aide Yevgeny Shaposhnikov.

Putin also said that the Mir space station must be preserved and that Russia will continue to participate in international space programs and will fulfil all its international commitments.

However, "the main accent" must be put on the Russian manufacturers, Putin said.

He congratulated Russian cosmonauts and leaders of the Russian space industry on Cosmonautics Day and said that it is "a legendary holiday not only for Russia, but also for the whole of mankind," and that it came into being "thanks to outstanding people and outstanding scientific and technical achievements." [April 12 marks 39 years since the world's first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into space.]

"The rocket and space industry is not only a prestigious industrial branch which is making Russia a great power, but is also an industry which deals with the most daring and reasonable economic projects," Putin said.