Russia waiting for U.S. to confirm readiness to accept assistance - foreign minister

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MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is waiting for the United States to confirm its readiness to accept assistance from Russia in dealing with the aftermath of the natural disaster that hit New Orleans, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

"Besides concerns about the fate of our nationals, we again confirmed to the American leaders our readiness to render humanitarian and other assistance in the efforts being made by American authorities, including equipment to search for people under debris, installations to purify and desalinate water, medicine, and other things that may be necessary," Lavrov said.

The minister said three transport aircraft of the Emergency Situations Ministry with humanitarian supplies and helicopters on board were ready to head to the U.S. "They may take off at any moment," he added.

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