Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the matter of creating grain stocks for market intervention "in order to keep prices from ups and downs" can be decided on for the first time this year. Opening up in Orenburg (regional center in the southern Ural area) a visiting session of the State Council, the president said that obtaining situation on the grain and farm-produce market can be changed with the help of state mechanisms. "The state could carry the regulatory function" in this field, said Putin. The head of state was critical on "a civilised grain and farm-produce market" in Russia. "Prices jump" and "often they do not depend on the real economy", he said. The president stressed that inside the agroindustrial complex "monopolism prospers and grain in some regions is underpriced", dealers are active. Putin proposed to "fix the size of financial interventions" in the 2002 budget. Simultaneously, he spoke up for "the development of a true market infrastructure in the country". The head of state reported that, on results of this year's harvest, "another serious goal can now be met -- we can replenish strategic national reserves /of grain/, which were actually nil for a long time".
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