The government will be conducting "preference policies" in the Far East,President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin declared while drawingthe results of a session devoted to the social and economic development ofthe Far East today. According to him, historically the government hasalways been supporting this region, and will do it in the future.Electrical and heat energy tariffs as well as railroad transportation andfuel costs will be subsidized. As a result of the session, the governmentwas commissioned to work out ways of implementing a federal program ofdevelopment of the Far East that will be implemented by the federal centerand regions together. In Putin's opinion, the Far East should becomeRussia's reliable and stable outpost in the Asian and Pacific region. The session has closed. In the afternoon, Putin will have a series ofmeetings with Far Eastern regional officials, and government officials willhold talks with regional heads as well. At 5:00 p.m. local time, thePresident of Russia is supposed to meet with North Korean leader KimChong-il. .
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)