'Russia has everything it needs to join the community of economically developed nations,' said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the world economic forum in Moscow on October 3. Putin also said that over the past two years investment activity in the country has risen by 12%, while at the same time the inflation rate has dropped. Moreover, the gross domestic product has reached 6.9% so far this year and industrial production in the country has grown by 6.8% in 2003. Putin also said that budget had a surplus of 2.9%. Speaking about the sphere of government management and administration, Putin said that the government is attempting to remove excessive regulation, though it is deep-seated. Putin said that the majority of bureaucrats 'want to improve, correct, and steer the economy.' Putin also said that he is confident that administrative reform, judicial reform and the overall improvement of the legal system are priorities in the next two years.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing in Beijing that the question about the shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria had not been resolved yet. However, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that S-300 missile systems had been delivered to Syria last month
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