A meeting of the inter-state council for emergency situations of the countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, will open in Moscow on October 25. To be discussed at the Moscow forum are plans for 2002. Also prominent on the meeting agenda is a draft agreement on mutual responsibility for damages caused by major accidents and catastrophes and on an order of redeeming expenses CIS states incur when providing aid to other countries. Russia's emergencies ministry is going to offer for consideration of the council a schedule of check-ups of the CIS emergency situations notification system, a program of the development of the corps of joint CIS forces, as well as a draft agreement on rescuers' status. The Moscow meeting is also expected to discuss proposals related to a system of seismological monitoring and a program of joint research in the area of natural disasters and man-caused cataclysms.
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