Source Pravda.Ru

Fradkov: World Ocean program high priority

The World Ocean federal target program is one of the Russian government's priorities, said Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov following the Sea Board's session in Archangelsk on Friday.

"The program is listed in the project of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and will get optimal funds, which, at least, will be sufficient to maintain the available technologies", Mr. Fradkov pointed out.

The World Ocean federal target program is one of the mechanisms aimed at comprehensive solution of the issues of research, development and effective use of the sea resources and space in the interests of the country's economic development, security and border control.

The prime minister also tasked the Industry and Energy Ministry and the Transport Ministry to draft the programs of developing shipbuilding, onshore port infrastructure, and the problems related to the vessels' physical and moral ageing, said Mikhail Fradkov on Friday after the Sea Board's session.

According to him, effective in Russia is a whole documents package applying to the sea affairs, however, the respective ministries were ordered to develop the said programs by December 1, 2004 to boost the progress in this area.

"These should be the steps that will put the shipbuilding industry at a new quality level, as the potential for this does exist", said Mr. Fradkov.

The prime minister backs the idea of establishing a nuclear-powered shipbuilding center by merger of the Northwest district's enterprises.

"This idea is attractive and it has the right to live", said Mr. Fradkov following the Sea Board's session in Archangelsk.

At the same time, he stressed that the merger "should be supported by the leaders of the district's enterprises".

"This topic is relevant as we pay much attention to nuclear-powered shipbuilding", said the prime minister.

The premier also believes that topical is the issue of developing Russia's vessels register, which, according to him, will be done as soon as practicable.

The register development will make sailing under the Russian flag attractive.

Mikhail Fradkov promised that the Russian government would consider the issue of loading Archangelsk's sea port.

"The government will think over the problem and come up with some solution", said Mr. Fradkov at a briefing after the Sea Board's session in Archangelsk.

At the same time, he admitted that the port's geographical position reduced its competitiveness. "And the problem of icebreakers' approach crowns all this", said Mr. Fradkov.

"The direct governmental grants are incorrect here, but we will put our minds on the problem of charging one of the country's largest ports", concluded Mr. Fradkov.

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