The Russian State Duma will pass the 3rd reading of the 2002 federal budget draft on November 30, Alexander Zhukov, the chairman of the Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes and member of the Russian Regions group, told journalists on Friday. According to Mr. Zhukov, the committee has practically finished the consideration of the changes into the federal budget draft to prepare it for the 3rd reading. "We are yet to make some changes in the wording in the articles that secure the budget in case federal revenues are be lower than planned," Mr. Zhukov said. He added that social spending which provides for increased public sector salaries, wages for military personnel, financing of the health sector, and so forth, will not be cut, whatever happens.
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