Russia's economic growth is to raise its international prestige, Russia's deputy prime minister and finance minister Alexei Kudrin told newsmen following his negotiations with US treasury secretary Paul O'Neill. In his words, Russia is evolving into a country which can render assistance to other nations. The vice premier stressed that Russia's increasing role is due to both its resources and willingness to counter terrorism, where it has had certain experience, and due to Russia's economic potential, at least within the CIS, Eastern and Central Europe. In this connection, Kudrin pointed out that Russia is a major creditor of five countries of the former USSR--Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Kyrgyzia and Tajikistan. The IMF and other countries appeal to us to pursue such a policy which lives up to international standards, and therefore our role is currently assessed as increasing, stressed the minister. Kudrin added that both the IMF and the Paris Club deem Russia's position in the aforesaid countries as the principal one. In his words, there are numerous examples to prove it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia