The redistribution of authority between different levels of government, which a group of bills on reforms in the government system and local self-government provides for, should be taken into account during the preparation of the 2004 budget draft, Federation Council First Deputy Speaker Valery Goreglyad told reporters today. These bills are expected to be adopted this year, Goreglyad pointed out. He expressed hope that the 2004 budget would provide for a more even allocation of the financial burden.
Goreglyad believes that the 2004 budget in general should be focused on investments. "This should no longer be a budget of survival, and not a budget of foreign debt servicing, but a budget of development," the senator declared. He said that he had discussed this issue with Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin. According to Goreglyad, "they fully understand the fact that the preparation of the concept of the new budget should be based on these principles."
The groups of the Armed Forces of Russia blocked the town of Lisichansk from the south, an official representative for the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said