The Department of Government Information reported on Monday that issues connected with preparations for the second reading of the draft 2002 budget in the State Duma (Russia's lower chamber of parliament) had been discussed during a traditional meeting between Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and key minsters this morning. Moreover, the results of Kasyanov's trips to Ukraine and Moldova were also reviewed. The premier gave instructions to government members to implement the agreements reached during his trips abroad. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin gave a report on his trip to the USA, where he met G8 finance ministers. He also informed the Government about talks held in America on Russian-American trade and economic relations and the details of a session of the Russian-American Business Council.
According to a source in the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia started deploying elite commando units in eastern Libya. Russian GRU officers, mercenaries and advisors have arrived in Libya