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Opening Remarks at Meeting with Permanent Members of Security Council

July 24, 2009

The Kremlin, Moscow

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I would like to direct the attention of everyone here to the horrible state of affairs on our nations roads. Today, a road accident instantly killed more than twenty people just one traffic accident. Naturally, I am instructing the Minister of the Interior and the Prosecutor General to look into it, but unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident; it is part of a pattern.

We have been working on a road safety control programme; I suppose there has been some progress in this direction, but it is not nearly enough. We need to get our roads into better shape, but in my view, these horrible, unimaginable events are not only caused by the fact that our roads are in terrible condition (although that is a contributing factor), but also, are a consequence of how we monitor our roads, a consequence of the undisciplined, criminally careless behaviour of our drivers. Often, these are not mishaps, but blatant acts of crime.

In this regard, I believe that the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate and other law enforcement agencies must take all the necessary measures to impose order on the roads. We cannot bury this many people simply because our traffic control is so badly organised. Clearly, this encompasses many issues. I would like to highlight this issue for law enforcement agencies and everyone who is responsible for security (all of the key executives in this area are present at this meeting), as well as the Government overall, which deals with implementation of corresponding programmes. And in the future, I would like for our Federal Assembly to also think about additional measures for ensuring safety on the roads. Nowhere else in the world can we find so many tragic accidents of this kind, except perhaps the most underdeveloped, weak countries. Our country is very powerful, so this is truly saddening. 

On behalf of all of us, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the victims families. We need to do everything in our power to bring order to our nations roads.

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