German Gref, Russia's Minister of Economic Development and Trade, stated at today's press conference devoted to administrative obstacles to business activities, "Shadow economy deprives Russia of $1.5-2bn per year." According to his data, there are about 2 million people indulged in the "shadow economy" in Russia. Most claims may be made to the activities of regional road funds, where about 70 per cent of payments are made on barter terms. But the situation with regional road funds is to change for the better beginning with January 1, 2001, RBC reports. Today's actions of RAO UES to struggle against non-payers are also conditioned by the struggle against the "shadow economy", against the cross subsidizing, when a real payer is imposed ever-increasing payments, which are later re-distributed to idle enterprises.
Western countries actively support Ukraine in words, but they are able to provide less and less real help. This opinion was expressed by the former head of the military intelligence of the Czech Republic, Major General Andor Sandor, in an interview with the Parliamentní listy.