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Issue 28
, 2010
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Medvedev offers to help Tajikistan deal with natural disasters

Source: Rianovosti, Date: , 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed on Wednesday that Moscow and Dushanbe work to improve joint responses to natural disasters, such as the wildfires in Russia and January's quakes in Tajikistan.

Medvedev made the offer during a bilateral meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon on the sidelines of a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi involving the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hamid Karsai and Asif Ali Zardari.

Medvedev said this year has brought severe natural disasters to Russia, Tajikistan and Pakistan, where millions have been affected by severe flooding.

"On these issues, I believe it makes sense to discuss measures for joint support and assistance," Medvedev said.

Tajikistan, a poor, mountainous country prone to natural disasters such as floods, avalanches and quakes, was hit in January by an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale that left thousands injured and destroyed more than 100 houses.

At least 1,600 people have died during the floods in Pakistan with some 20 million affected by the disaster. The floods, caused by the heavy monsoon rains, were the most severe in 80 years. Thousands of houses were destroyed and entire villages were washed out.

The wildfires that have been raging across Central Russia since mid-July have claimed 53 lives and left over 3,500 people homeless.