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.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge