Russia must remain a nuclear super-power. This was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Sarov (Nizhni Novgorod Region). As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, the president visited the Russian nuclear energy centre, met several nuclear physicists, got acquainted with the work of the centre and generally gave a high appraisal of the technology and capability of the Scientific-Research Institute of Experimental Physics.
'As one of your colleagues said, all of our work is exported,' Mr Putin said. 'In order to limit the number of importers, we must remain a nuclear super-power.' He added that 'Russia has accepted many legal restrictions on testing nuclear weapons,' the president said. 'However, this should not affect the work of the nuclear centre.' Mr Putin promised that the salaries and legal rights of nuclear physicists would be reviewed and also assured them that certain administrative problems would be resolved.
The Russian Scientific-Research Institute of Experimental Physics was founded in Sarov in 1943. The first Soviet nuclear bomb was put together at the centre as well as the first ever hydrogen bomb in the world, designed under the leadership of Andrei Sakharov, the famous Russian academic.