The cancellation of sales tax from January 1, 2004, will bring a loss of USD 720 million to the regional budgets. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin today in the State Duma. He said that 36% of sales tax is taken in Moscow, 10% in the Moscow Region and 8% in Saint Petersburg. The Russian government is planning to set up a special fund with USD 350-500 million to support the regions, which suffer most as a result of tax reforms, Mr Kudrin said. As a result of this, the regions will be able to re-establish their current incomes within the next year or two, said the minister.
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.