The energy consumption of the Gross Domestic product (GDP) of Belarus is to be decreased this year by over 4.5 percent. The GDP growth is forecasted at 106 to 106.5 percent, while the industrial product growth is expected at 104 to 104.5 percent. Last year, the GDP energy consumption declined 4.7 percent against the planned 4.2 to 5.2 percent. As the Belarusian Economy Ministry reported, the major goal for energy saving in 2003 is to reduce the consumption of fuel and energy resources in the real sector of the economy by 7 percent, and at housing, communal and social facilities - by at least 10 percent. The 2003-2005 program of increasing the use of local fuel and non-conventional energy sources suggests increasing the volume of the replacement of fuel and energy imports for 200,000 tons of fuel equivalent this year.
Following the summit in Riga on November 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance could respond to Russia's 'new aggression against Ukraine.'