State Duma Speaker: 2003 budget makes accent on military expenditures

The federal budget for 2003 makes an accent on "military needs," Gennady Seleznev, speaker of the Russian State Duma, told journalists Friday commenting on the consideration of the third reading of the federal budget for the next year by the lower parliamentary house.

According to him, allocation of additional funds for military needs is correct, since the army was underfunded for many years. At the same time, he expressed an opinion that 2003 will not be the last year when the army receives more funds. However, allocation of budget funds for military needs should not in any way cause a reduction of social items and expenditures on health care, education and culture, the speaker noted.

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