Vladimir Putin has held at Novy Urengoi a conference on the development of the country's gas industry. Opening it, the Russian president said that the launching of Russia's major gas deposit Zapolyarnoye and implementation of a number of other projects have been made possible thanks to and with the participation of Gazprom board chairman Rem Vyakhirev. "He has been able to preserve the branch, and fortify it against all odds," said the head of state. Putin handed to Vyakhirev the Order for Services to the Fatherland 4th Class.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words