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gency occurs, plans call for augmenting the rescue service by calling in specialists and equipment from other city organizations.

Since the city search and rescue service was established, rescuers have carried out about 60,000 rescue operations and have saved more than 25,000 people. In 2002 alone, Moscow firefighters handled about 7,000 fires. The timely and skillful actions of personnel from the city’s medical service have saved the lives of thousands of Muscovites involved in emergency situations and accidents.

Unfortunately, Muscovites have been forced to confront inhuman acts of terrorism in practice. We profoundly share the pain and suffering of other nations affected by emergency situations of any kind. Therefore, the government of Moscow is devoting a great deal of attention to humanitarian operations, including those of international scope. We are providing humanitarian aid to the suffering population in various regions of Russia and in other countries, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, Korea, Bolivia, the Balkans, Germany, the Czech Republic, and others.

Overall, we may conclude that the government of Moscow has a great focus on international cooperation in combating terrorism and crime and eliminating the consequences of terrorist acts and natural and industrial disasters. In recent years, stable contacts have been established among counterpart police and emergency services agencies at the municipal level as part of the comprehensive cooperation between Moscow and foreign cities, including those in Europe. Close cooperation is under way with the cities of Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Dublin, Helsinki, and others in the form of information sharing, exchanges and training of specialists, and joint training exercises.

In May 2002, on the initiative of Moscow Mayor Yury M. Luzhkov, a meeting of police officials from European countries was convened to promote better coordination in the struggle against terrorism. Moreover, an international meeting on matters of security in major cities is to be held in Moscow in June 2003.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the system that has been created in Moscow for preventing and eliminating the consequences of emergency situations stands ready to cooperate closely in the twenty-first century with any who treasure the ideals of humanism and defense of the most important human right, the right to life.

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