President Putin's address on next year's federal budget has a revolutionary content, said Andrei Illarionov, presidential economic adviser, as he was addressing the media in St. Petersburg.
The address may have sounded calm-but the measures Mr. Putin is offering will boil down to a budgetary revolution when implemented, what with fiscal rate cuts he deems necessary. Thus, value added tax is expected to come down from current 20% to 18% next year, and eventually to 16%. The unified social tax may drastically reduce in 2005, forecasts the expert.
In his address, President Putin gives a precise wording to a goal never posed in Russia before-to resolutely limit budgetary distribution of economic resources, which implies a budget revolution.
If Russia meets the targets the presidential message is posing, it will reach key national goals-higher living standards, combat against poverty, the gross domestic product doubled, and the defence potential spectacularly increased, said Mr. Illarionov.
NATO has abandoned positive agenda in relations with Russia. It does not exist. So far there are no indications of NATO's knowledge of a way to get out of this impasse