When opening the Kremlin talks today with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Horst Koeller, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country was planning to establish growth rates of 5.5-5.7% "and, maybe, even 5.8%" of the national GDP. The president said that the population's incomes in real terms were growing and that they had increased by five odd per cer over the January-August period this year. Moreover, according to him, the Central Bank's reserves are also increasing. Putin also said that "this year's inflation rate will be a little bit higher than we had expected, but lower that last year's by 2 per cent." In his turn, Koeller said that the IMF viewed Russia "as a country which is fulfilling its obligations and promises."
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