Russia intends to pay a total US$32.2 billion on its foreign debt within the two next years. 14.9 billions of that falls on 2004 - 8.2 bn on debt payments proper - 2.7 bn less than this year, and 6.7 bn on debt servicing, the federal Finance Ministry says in papers drafted for an upcoming Cabinet session.
Payments on Russia's government funded foreign loan of March 1997 are scheduled for March 2004 - $1.8 billion of the whole earmarked for principal debt payments.
Foreign debt payments planned for 2005 amount to $17.4 billion - 10.8 billion for debt payments and 6.6 billion for debt servicing. $4.9 billion has been earmarked for principal debt payments, March and July 2005, on another two government funded foreign loans, nominated in foreign currency.
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on remarks in the US media about failures in launching nuclear-capable missiles in Russia
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It has long been understood that the West has been trying to subject Russian borders to total control. We have not seen such activity even during the Cold War