The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) will proceed with carrying out specialized programs in Russia, UNICEF Regional Director Philip O'Brien and UNICEF Representative in Russia Rosemary McCreery told a news conference Thursday. They also spoke about the results of the visit to Russia by the UNICEF delegation headed by Executive Director Carol Bellamy. The delegation members visited the Kabardino-Balkarian republic (North Caucasus) and three refugees' camps in Ingushetia, acquainted themselves with children's conditions of life, discussed these problems with Viktor Kazantsev, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President in the South Federal District. The UNICEF representatives noted positive shifts in the school system development; however the number of schools is still not sufficient and the children's conditions of life are not good, people living in overcrowded houses. In the future the UNICEF intends to give more consideration to mentally handicapped, homeless, HIV-infected children and invalids. The Fund annually allocates up to 10 million dollars to carry out its programs in Russia with 8 million used to support the refugees' children in Ingushetia.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia