Basic macroeconomic parameters of Russia in 2003 will be in line with the planned level, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin has declared today at an annual conference organized by Renaissance Capital. The first five months of this year were pretty successful for the Russian economy, which provides a reason to believe that all macroeconomic parameters will meet expectations, including the planned GDP growth (the Russian Economy Ministry has recently raised its GDP forecast for 2003 to 4.6 percent), the minister said. According to Kudrin, the government will manage to retain the inflation within 12 percent in 2003. "I think the second half of the year will meet our forecasts", he pointed out. He also stressed that over the past several years the basis for conducting reforms had been formed, in particular the reforms of currency regulations, natural monopolies, administrative and other reforms. He thinks the implementation of all government programs will enable Russia to double the pace of its economic growth by 2010.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime