Defense To Be Fully Financed In 2002 Despite Falling Oil Prices

The national defense, law-enforcement and social-protection items in the 2002 budget will be financed fully and in due time irrespective of oil prices. This agreement was reached at a meeting on Monday between Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and the leaders of four centrist factions in the State Duma, deputy chairman of the Duma budgetary and tax committee /People's Deputy/ Valeri Galchenko told journalists. He said that a financial reserve in the 2002 draft budget will still be preserved. Though, less funds will be allocated to it in line with a compromise reached between Duma deputies and the cabinet envisaging unfavourable oil prices. In case the receipt is not enough to execute the expenditure, this reserve will become a source of financing. If the financial reserve proves scarce, the financing of certain items, except social needs, defense and law enforcement, will be proportionally reduced or put off to a later date.

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