The 2003 budget draft envisages a decrease in the tax burden, inparticular, the canceling of sales taxes and some other taxes, AlexeyKudrin, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, declared at ascientific conference devoted to the forecast on Russia's social andeconomic development throughout 2005 and parameters of the budget draft for2003. According to Kudrin, starting from 1999, despite a decrease in taxes,the withdrawal of funds from the economy has continued, and "today weshould firmly say that we are conducting policy aimed at making the taxburden lower".The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the abolishment of some taxeswould lead to a drop in budget revenues that was planned for the year 2003.The 2003 budget draft envisages revenues totaling 18.5 percent of thecountry's gross domestic product; this year they are planned at a 19.9percent level.The Finance Minister noted that the average level of tax collection wasexpected to continue next year. Value-added taxes will occupy the topposition, profit taxes will have the second position and individual incometaxes will rank third. The role of customs taxes in providing revenues tothe state is going down, Kudrin specified..
Russian officials have repeatedly declared that Israeli aviation poses a threat to the Russian military in Syria.