According to A.P. Koslov, president of the Fourth International Conference on AIDS, Cancer, and Associated Diseases held in Russia in 1996, the conference represents the first high level discussion of AIDS risk management in Russia. Russia has a strong potential for development of a vaccine, having been a key player in the smallpox eradication program in the late 1950s. Conditions are difficult at present, but it is possible that Russia will be able to develop a practical vaccine for distribution in the Third World. Efforts to develop an HIV vaccine underway in different countries have been examined, and a list has been compiled of Russian institutions able to participate in HIV vaccine development. International assistance for vaccine development in Russia would help both the medical establishment in Russia, which has suffered because of the economic and social crisis, and the international community. A meeting is planned for December 1996 in St. Petersburg to organize an AIDS control organization for all of Russia. Mobilization of support for AIDS prevention activities is necessary but very difficult. If nothing is done, the epidemic in Ukraine will soon spread to Russia. But Russia and China are among the few countries where an HIV epidemic could still be prevented or stopped. The association in St. Petersburg cooperates with other former Soviet republics in AIDS control activities, although attendance at international meetings and conferences is frequently curtailed for financial reasons.