Russian residents' national currency deposits went up 5.4% over the first quarter of 2003 as against last year's first quarter, reports the Russian economic development and trade ministry. This is due to a rise in the public's real cash incomes, which have increased 16.9% since the year's start, according to the ministry.
Time, or fixed, deposits are getting increasingly more popular than demand deposits, the fact that testifies to the public's greater trust in national currency, believes the ministry.
The public's foreign currency deposits went 0.2% down over the past 3 years, which is a result of a lower dollar rate and uncertainty as to its further dynamics. The official rate of dollar against rouble has slid 1.3% since the year's start.
As of April 1 2003, Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves amounted to US$55,5 billion, said the ministry.
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