RAO UES increased the power output by 3.4% in 2000 compared to 1999, the RAO UES Media Relations Department reports. The output rose by 20.6 billion kilowatt-hours (from 602.2 to 622.8 billion kilowatt-hours). The number of technical failures at companies of RAO UES decreased by 1,023 in 2000 compared to 1999. 900 million rubles (about $31.22 million) were saved due to the reduction in the number of technical failures. Synchronized work of the unified energy systems of Siberia, Kazakhstan and the European part of Russia was resumed in 2000, and agreements on cooperation with Georgia and Azerbaijan were signed. The work of the energy systems of 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics has been synchronized as of now (in the Soviet times the Unified Energy System comprised only 11 republics). The Media Relations Department points out that in 2000, for the first time in the past 10 years, RAO UES managed not only to get 100% of payments for its services from customers, but also to achieve gradual repayment of the debts that had been accumulated in the previous years. The percentage of cash payments in all payments for heating and electricity in 2000 was over 80% on average (this figure was 101% in the third and fourth quarters of 2000), which exceeds the level of 1997 by over 4 times. Consumers' debts to the energy company decreased by 16 billion rubles (about $554.98 million) in 2000. This allowed RAO UES and its affiliates to substantially increase payments to fuel suppliers and to raise the percentage of cash payments. In 2000 RAO UES paid over 18.1 billion rubles (about $627.82 million) to the federal budget in cash, which exceeds the amount paid in 1999 by 3.4 times. Over 14.3 billion rubles (about $496.01 million) were paid to local budgets, which is 4.2 times more than in 1999. RAO UES has been making all payments to the federal budgets in cash since December 1, 2000.
Following the missile attack on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea, Russia will obliterate airfields in Western Ukraine where Sukhoi Su-24 bombers are stationed