The ratio between the taxes paid to the regional and federal budgets willbe fundamentally revised during the preparation of the 2004 budget draft.Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov announced this information at anews conference within the framework of the Baykal Economic Forum today.Commenting on the prospects for the adoption of the 2003 budget, Mironovpointed out that members of the Federation Council had activelyparticipated in its preparation before the first reading in the State Duma,and the government version of the budget had undergone substantial changesin favor of the regions. "I think the budget process will go successfully," Mironov remarked. Headded that in accordance with the law, the State Duma had 100 days to adoptthe budget. The Federation Council speaker made an assumption that thebudget would be approved before the end of 2002. The second highest priority for the autumn session of the upper house afterthe budget draft will be the debates on the set of bills on reforms in theelectrical power industry, Mironov pointed out. Concerning the proposal tocorrect the investment program of RAO UES of Russia, voiced at the Irkutskforum, the speaker said: "One should always analyze such investmentprograms very attentively, if one sees that in fact, willingly orunwillingly, they imply new expenditures, which may put an additionalburden on taxpayers' shoulders.".
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