Vice-Premier and Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin arrived in Washington where he will participate in the spring session of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. According to the programme of the trip, on Saturday Kudrin will also take part in a meeting of the "financial Seven" with the participation of Russia at which the Ministers of Finance and the heads of the Central Banks of the participating countries assemble. Alexei Kudrin intends to hold a series of bilateral meetings with US Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neil, IMF Managing Director Horst Koehler, and President of the World Bank James Wolfensohn. The Russian vice-premier intends to discuss with the head of the bank the programme of cooperation for 2001 and for the immediate future. On May 1-2 Alexei Kudrin will stay in New York where he will participate in the annual conference of the UN economic and social council. Its theme will be eradication of indigence in the world, and discussion of the problem of the foreign debt of developing countries and of the development of the international financial system. Alexei Kudrin will deliver a report in which he will assess the state of Russia's financial and banking systems, the regulation of legislation in this field, and Russia's requirements for international technical assistance for strengthening the national financial and banking systems and introducing corresponding international standards.
Former US intelligence officer Scott Ritter believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should flee Ukraine.