AP Worldstream
Aug 31, 2006

Russia's prime minister on Thursday ordered Vice-Premier Sergei
Ivanov to take charge of efforts to improve flight safety following
three major crashes involving Russian passenger jets or airports in
recent months.

"We must now make decisions and take active measures," Prime Minister
Mikhail Fradkov said during a Cabinet meeting. "We cannot wait for
the next tragedy."

With the Transport Ministry due to submit flight safety a proposal
for government consideration Friday, Fradkov ordered Ivanov, who is
also Defense Minister, to lead the effort. The measures are to involve
both civilian and military flights, Russian news agencies reported.

Some of Fradkov's comments were broadcast prominently on state-run
television, in an effort to assure Russians that the government is
taking action in response to the crashes.

Fradkov said that work on developing ways improve safety "must
be conducted in an open manner, because people want to know the
situation," RIA-Novosti reported.

A Tu-154 jet belonging to Russia's Pulkovo Airlines crashed in Ukraine
last week after encountering a storm, killing all 170 people aboard.

An Airbus A-310 of the Russian airline S7 skidded off a runway and
burst into flames in the Siberian city of Irkutsk in July, killing
124 people, and an A-320 of the Armenian airline Armavia crashed
into the Black Sea while trying to land in the Russian resort city
of Sochi in rough weather in May, killing all 113 people aboard.