The Russian financial reserve is expected to reach 197bn rubles (about$6.23bn) by the end of 2002, Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin announced atthe conference devoted to the main parameters of the 2003 budget draft.Revenues of the 2003 budget were set at about 2.418 trillion rubles (about$77bn), non-interest expenditures at 2.068 trillion rubles ($65bn), primarysurplus at 349.7bn rubles ($11.06bn) and interest expenditures at 638bnrubles ($20.18bn). The draft stipulates that 0.6 percent of the GDP, or72.2bn rubles ($2.28bn), will be spent on foreign debt payments next year.The Finance Minister announced that the defense sector would be a priorityin the 2003 budget. In particular, expenditures for purchasing weapons,scientific research and repairing equipment will be raised by $1bn (about$32bn). Allocations for national defense were budgeted at 346.1bn rubles($10.94bn)..
Putin said that NATO increased its military personnel by 10,000 people in the areas where NATO troops should not even be in accordance with key documents
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969