Russia is going to attract $3bn from foreign markets in 2004 and $4bn in 2005, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin reported to journalists after today's government meeting devoted to the discussion of the long-range financial plan for 2003 to 2005. According to him, the government is planning to attract resources for lower interest rates and replace expensive debts with cheaper ones.
At the same time, the Finance Minister pointed out that the inflation rate could be 8 percent in 2005. As for the federal budget surplus, it could reach RUR254bn (about $7.97bn) in 2004 and RUR293bn (about $9.20bn) in 2005, Kudrin said.
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The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.