The Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will give an assessment of the state of the Russian economy on the basis of the results of the key macroeconomic indicators monitoring held in November-December 2001, an IMF expert in charge of the budget policy issues informed RIA Novosti Thursday. The Fund's mission headed by deputy director of the IMF Second European Department Gerard Belanger draw a conclusion that Russia managed to significantly strengthen the budget and tax policy, as well as achieve tangible results in staging structural reforms. According to the mission's estimate, a significant surplus of current operations of the balance of payments and budget surplus in combination with a relatively satisfactory level of hard currency reserves ensured Russia a strong potential for problem settlement in case of deterioration of the economic state. According to the Fund's estimates, in 2002 the economic growth in Russia will amount to no less than 3.5 percent and inflation 13 percent. The expert also said that the Board of Directors will have to specify in March the date of the IMF mission's regular visit to Moscow. At the same time, visits of the Fund's delegations will not be so frequent as they used to, which is connected with a more stable state of the Russian economy, the expert said.
The Turkish army has completed preparations for operations in northern Syria and is awaiting orders to launch an invasion of four Syrian cities: Manbij, Tel Tamir, Ain Isa and Tel Rifat