During a meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov in Moscow on 20 January, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanaev said that the level of trade between Kyrgyzstan and Russia is too low, and he urged the Duma to take steps to remedy the situation, akipress.org reported. Tanaev, on a two-day working visit to Moscow, also met on 20 January with Russian Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev to discuss a Russian project to reclaim Kyrgyz land polluted by Soviet-era uranium mining, ITAR-TASS reported. According to Atomic Energy Ministry spokesman, Kyrgyz experts have already approved the Russian clean-up plan. Also on 20 January, the labor ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Russia - Roza Aknazarova and Aleksandr Pochinok - signed a memorandum on cooperation between their ministries, particularly in the field of social security. Pochinok said that one of the first projects under the agreement will be the construction of a home for the elderly in a Kyrgyz city. He added that Russia is eager to set up a legal system for importing labor from Kyrgyzstan, because Russia needs such workers.
Itar-Tass, January 21, 2004