The government of the Moscow region approved the 2003 budget at a meetingtoday. According to reports from the press service of the regionalgovernor, the total volume of budget revenues was set at more than 43.987bnrubles (about $1.39bn) and expenditures were budgeted at about 46.614bnrubles ($1.47bn). The regional authorities set the maximum budget deficitfor next year at about 2.627bn rubles ($83m), or 6.6 percent, which issimilar to the budget deficit expected in 2002.The priority items in budget expenditures in 2003 will be salaries, studentallowances, the repayment of the regional debt and some other items..
Following Lithuania, Norway has joined the anti-Russian frenzy as well and declared a blockade against the Russian town of Barentsburg. However, Norway has not taken into account the fact that Svalbard is not its original territory