Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev today took the call for international cooperation against the asteroid-comet threat to Earth, to a two-day Urals region national security conference dedicated chiefly to fighting illegal narcotics. The host city, Yekaterinburg, is one of the two Ural Mountains cities with populations of over 1 million, the other being Chelyabinsk, near which the Chebarkul meteorite exploded on Feb. 15. Patrushev took the opportunity to expand on his statement, made in a Voice of Russia interview Feb. 20, on the need for "interagency cooperation among nations possessing the needed capabilities." In that interview, Patrushev recalled that Russia had put the asteroid-comet threat on the agenda for discussion at the III International Meeting of Senior Security Representatives, which he hosted in St. Petersburg last June.
Today, IA Regnum reports, Patrushev said that there need to be special, international space security programs. "The meteorite's falling in Chelyabinsk confirms the need for joint work with other countries to ensure asteroid-comet security," he said. "We have already proposed to our colleagues from other nations to develop intergovernmental programs. Now this is all the more important, insofar as this time neither Russian nor foreign specialists were able to report the threat in a timely fashion."