Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a meeting in the Kremlin with participants of the operation to lift the nuclear submarine Kursk from the bed of the Barents Sea. The president said that the decision to raise the submarine was correct. It proved justified despite all arguments and nearly fantastic character of the operation, Putin said. The president expressed gratitude to all who assembled in the Kremlin and through them all participants in the operation - "for professionalism, courage, and for honestly discharged professional and civic duty". According to the president, the lifting of the Kursk was "not just a difficult, but also a unique operation". For the Russians to raise the Kursk was "not only a state duty", but above all a moral one. "It was a moral duty to the memory of the dead sailors, their near and dear ones," Putin emphasised. The tragic experience of the sunken Kursk submarine and experience of its lifting can be seen as trigger mechanisms for developing more precise standards for designing and operating marine shipping, the Russian head of state believes.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart