United Nations, 6 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Vladimir Putin today urged the United Nations to organize a conference on the demilitarization of outer space. Addressing the UN's "Millennium Summit" in New York, Putin noted that next year marks the 40th anniversary of manned space flight, and that the first man in space was Soviet Yuri Gagarin. He offered to have Moscow be the site of a conference to ensure that space is never militarized.
More generally, the Russian president said the 21st century should be an era of genuine disarmament. He said world military powers should reduce their own nuclear armaments and avoid the spread of these weapons to other countries.
In closing, Putin urged the UN to help in the search for worldwide peace, stability, and prosperity through the intelligent and equitable use of the wealth of all nations.