Russia ineffectively supports its small businesses, said Deputy Chairperson for the Federation Council Committee on Political Economy, Business and Property Pavel Fedirko. 'There is a lot of talk about supporting small and medium-sized business, but there is practically no action,' he said.
Fedirko said that the 2003 budget allotted USD 3.23 billion to medium and small business, but this money didn't get to the regions and was almost entirely spent on the federal level. The 2004 budget, according to Fedirko, has no money for small business. 'The federal budget does not take into account financial help for small business,' he said. Fedirko also said that receiving a credit from the World Bank for this purpose is possible only if Russia takes on the responsibility for completing the guarantees of the loan.
Following the summit in Riga on November 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance could respond to Russia's 'new aggression against Ukraine.'