Speaking at a roundtable held at the Inturfest-2003 exhibition underway in St. Petersburg, Nikolai Storozhenko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Resort Association, said that good medical services were unavailable to 40% of Russia's population. Mr. Storozhenko said that the number of people staying at resorts decreased 10 times as compared with the Soviet times. The total annual cost of post-operative treatment of patients at resorts amounts to over USD 53 million and that of the prophylactic treatment of children - to USD 258.5 million. 'The current prices destroy resort business in Russia', he said, 'because they are too high for our citizens'.
Many of those who spoke at the roundtable noted that the interests of resort goers and Russia's resorts coincided. Sergei Spitsyn, General Director of the Dyuny sanatorium in St. Petersburg said that, 'If just one tenth of Russia's tourists, instead of going abroad, went to domestic resorts, Russia's resort business would begin developing. We must have a department controlling resorts because the Ministry of health does not pay us enough attention'.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year