Finance Minister comments on 2003 budget and foreign debt

The 2003 budget is to observe not only social obligations, but also Russia's obligations for its foreign debts, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin stated at a meeting of a council for interaction of the Federation Council with legislative bodies of Russian regions. In 2003, the country is to repay $17bn for foreign debts. He pointed out that "otherwise, non-implementation of liabilities could lead to a default and eventually, to capital flight, changes in the country's payment balance, devaluation of citizens' savings, and a decline in investments". Kudrin stressed once again that Russia would be able to cope with set tasks, which were an increase in the GDP, a growth of real incomes of citizens, a decrease in the inflation rate, and a surge of industrial production volume.

He pointed out that the 2003 consolidated budget stipulated the most considerable expenses for education, defense, industry, construction, energy, law-enforcement authorities, social policy, and healthcare.

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