Russia: Transport Security Must be Absolute Priority - Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that security must be number one priority in the transport industry.

"We need modern quality standards and hardware to ensure our transport industry should match the highest world standards," Putin said at the full-scale meeting of the All-Russian Conference of Transport Workers.

He said personnel was to play an important role in that sphere. In Russia a total of 300 institutions of higher learning or more train specialists for the industry, but in such matters as forming a personnel reserve the government, Putin said, counts on support from the industry itself.

"It is on the level of professional training that the reliability and safety of the transport complex depends heavily," he said. "Security on transport, health and life are indisputable priorities."

Putin recalled that the loss of human life in transport and road accidents was often due to "the insufficient training of specialists." In particular, this applies to shuttle mini-busses, metro and suburban trains.

"The requirements here must be the toughest," Putin said.

He recalled that about 100 billion rubles had been invested into the modernization of the system of public transport. It is necessary, Putin said, to speed up the development of the entire transport sphere, to arrange for a network of routes and to develop all types of high-speed transport. The prime minister drew the attention of the authorities of most large cities to the need for laying subway lines.

"The governors who have heard me say this will reply - 'Where's the money?'", Putin remarked. "It has to be looked for."

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