Finance Minister on budget expenses in 2004

The Russian Finance Ministry plans to increase expenses on national defense and law enforcement by RUR65bn (about $2.12bn) in 2004, Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said commenting on the main parameters of the medium-term budget policies. Additional sums will be allocated for transforming some divisions of the Russian armed forces from a conscript to a contract military service, the Minister pointed out. These measures will allow for decreasing the term of the draft military service to 1 year by 2008.

Moreover, expenses for education are going to be raised by RUR18bn ($587.47m), expenses for the court system by RUR7.6bn ($248.04m) and allocations for fundamental research by RUR6bn ($195.82m). Also, the government will continue to decrease non-interest expenses. Non-interest expenses of the federal budget will fall by 12.4 percent of the GDP in 2004, by 11.5 percent in 2005 and by 11.2 percent in 2006, Kudrin said.