Vladimir Putin confirms the government's intention to support science. Answering the on-line question asked by a research officer of the Novosibirsk institute of laser physics on the two central Russian TV channels ORT and RTR, Vladimir Putin said, "Science and education are, certainly, more important for us even than energy carriers, oil and gas." According to the President, "this is the difference between Russia and the countries we recently used to call developing." Vladimir Putin agreed that the government had not paid due attention to science for a long time, while it should have been. At the same time, the government is implementing all current budget indices, Putin said. This also concerns science. On Sunday Putin discussed it with the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences who had also confirmed it. The science financing has increased this year, the President said. According to him, the government decided to use this money to pay the salaries to people working in the sphere of science and to solve the housing problems of Russian scientists. Next year the scientific process's financing will start. According to the President, "I would like to solve all problems at once but, unfortunately, the budget's capabilities" allow to solve them in this succession. "Next year the budget of the fundamental science will increase by 40-50 per cent," Vladimir Putin added. The fundamental science is, certainly, the state's concern," Putin said. As for the branches of science, the relevant branches of industry should take care of them, the President believes.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea