Russia will overcome its economic problems "on its own but the International Monetary Fund may give it a backing in case of need", Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said to journalists. Asked by journalists to comment on the president's statement that Russia would like to participate in a three-year programme of interaction with the IMF, Kudrin said that "what is meant is a coordinated forecast of Russia's economic development in three years to come". "In case of a worsening economic situation in Russia in general owing to external causes", the IMF could back up the Russian economy, said the vice-premier. Kudrin recalled that Russia and the IMF have no special programme which intends lending for this year.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea