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Acting President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting on the problems of the Northern Sea Route and the development of Russian shipbuilding

April 5, 2000, Murmansk

The meeting took place on board the nuclear icebreaker Rossiya, which had recently returned from a voyage to the Arctic.

After taking a brief tour of the ship, the head of state met with the leaders of the Murmansk Region and the neighbouring northern regions, and with top executives of leading companies and banks involved in developing the mineral resources of the Extreme North.

Mr Putin emphasised that it was unacceptable for anybody to have special rights to use the Northern Sea Route. The acting president also stressed the need to adopt a government navigation strategy. Developing the Arctic sea transportation system could become a good testing area to perfect the principles of such a strategy.

After the meeting, Mr Putin held a news conference during which he answered questions on a number of issues, including the gubernatorial elections in St Petersburg and relations between Russia and Norway. He also said that his economic programme, which was being finalised, would be outlined in his address to the Federal Assembly.

April 5, 2000, Murmansk