The real income of the Russian population rose in 2002 by almost 9%. According to the government press office, this was announced at a government meeting today by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.
The prime minister also announced some other figures for 2002, including GDP growth of 4%, a 12% rise in the volume of import and 'only' a 3% increase in investment. Mr Kasyanov insisted that in 2003 the Russian government should do more to attract investment in the processing industries in order to maintain the level of economic growth or even raise it. The prime minister added that the sale of government shares in Slavneft and Lukoil will guarantee the stability of government reserves 'which will be used to make half of the payments on foreign debt in 2003.'
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on remarks in the US media about failures in launching nuclear-capable missiles in Russia
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It has long been understood that the West has been trying to subject Russian borders to total control. We have not seen such activity even during the Cold War