The Russian policymakers have approved the program of Russia's social and economic development through 2005. A corresponding decree was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on August 15, the Government Information Department reported. Under the program, federal and regional executive agencies should follow the provisions of the approved program when working out bills and programs.
According to earlier reports, the program has been developed by the Russian Economy Ministry and is seeking to increase annual GDP growth to 5.2 percent in 2004 and 5.9 percent in 2005. It also envisages stepping up industrial production growth to 4.7 percent and 5.2 percent respectively. Inflation is estimated to be at 8 to 10 percent in 2004 and 6.5 to 8.5 percent in 2005.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year