Russian exports to the CIS amounted to $4.285bn in the first quarter of 2003, which was 32 percent higher than in the corresponding period of last year, the CIS Statistics Committee has reported. Imports from the CIS were $2.584bn, which was a 20-percent advance against the first quarter of 2002. Russian exports to countries outside the CIS grew by 39 percent to $25.661bn, imports from states outside the CIS went up 20 percent to $8.742bn in the first three months of 2003.
The United States announced its intention to send Special Operations Forces (SOF) soldiers to Ukraine. Formally, everything is presented as if it is necessary to protect the embassy. However, the reality is different. This opinion was expressed by a military observer, reserve colonel Mikhail Khodarenok.