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    U.S. declines offer of Russian rescue plane for hurricane hit areas

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    WASHINGTON, September 1 (RIA Novosti, Arkady Orlov) - The White House does not currently believe it is practical to send a Russian rescue plane to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina in the United States, but will reconsider a Russian proposal to do so later if need be, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said Thursday. Yury Ushakov said the American authorities repeatedly stated this move was not warranted after Russia made an official proposal to provide a rescue plane to the U.S. on Wednesday.

    The Russian Embassy was informed that the U.S. authorities and its emergency services had everything they needed for the rescue effort in the affected areas.

    Yury Brazhnikov, the head of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's foreign department sent an offer to Michael Brown, under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's emergency preparedness and response directorate, to delegate Russian rescue teams and humanitarian aid to the scene, and also two or three experts to coordinate efforts with U.S. rescuers in New Orleans.

    Ushakov said Brown had promised to take the offer into consideration and said he would respond as soon as possible.

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