The government will conduct policy of protectionism for transportation inthe Far Eastern and Siberian regions, in particular in the sphere oftransportation tariffs. Sergey Frank, Russian Minister of Transportation,voiced this statement at the second Baikal economic forum in Irkutsk.According to him, in 2001, a growth in investments in the transportationsector was higher than in other sectors of the economy and amounted to 22percent. The main reserve of the transportation sector is the attraction ofnon-government investments, the Minister stressed. He believes that it isnecessary to speed up the creation of the corresponding legislation toattract investments.One of the most important directions of the development of thetransportation system is the modernization of seaports and theirinfrastructure, Frank noted. He said that last year some 75 percent ofRussian exports were shipped from Russian ports. He was quoted as sayingthat the Far Eastern ports' capacities would be seriously increased. Inparticular, it concerns seaports in Sakhalin. .
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons
Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation commented on the state of affairs in the Sea of Azov