The draft 2002 budget must envisage extra funds for an increase in the military's money allowances, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday as summing up a conference at the defense ministry. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, on his part, told reporters that the sum at issue is 4 billion rubles. He was hopeful the State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, will support such an amendment to the draft budget on Friday.
Russia suspected the USA's involvement in the Nord Stream blasts immediately after the incident. As for the Norwegians, their participation in the incident seems very surprising