Source Pravda.Ru

President instructs government to get ready to approve Russia's 2003 defence order

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to get ready to the country's 2003 defence order, which will be approved mid-January.

It is "a very important step" and it must be "well prepared," said the president, opening a traditional Monday conference with the Cabinet of Ministers in the Kremlin.

He also said that all the working days in January "must be used to the full" in order to solve this important task.

Further on, Putin congratulated everyone who took part in the launching of the modernized rocket Proton with a Canadian satellite, and said the launch had been accomplished successfully.

He also reminded the assembly that Sunday had been the day of launching of a Russian-Turkish gas pipeline known as the Blue Stream. The project had prospects for further expansion, he said.