The volume of financial aid allocated from the Russian federal budget forthe regions of Russia for repaying wage arrears to the employees ofstate-owned companies was RUR1.8bn (around $57m) in August 2002, the pressservice of the Russian Finance Ministry reported with reference to the dataof the analysis of the situation with paying wages to regional andmunicipal state employees. According to the information that the Ministryreceived from the regions of Russia, this financial aid allowed for payingcomplete vacation bonuses to teachers of regional and municipal educationalinstitutions. Additionally, the funds transferred in August allowed for thereduction of wage arrears to educational institutions' employees, which areexpected to drop to RUR200m (around $6.3m) by September 1, 2002. The total amount of funds transferred from the federal budget inJanuary-August 2002 for offsetting wage arrears of regional state-ownedcompanies and organizations is RUR114bn (around $3.6bn). According to theregions' estimate, the wage arrears to state employees were RUR1.5bn(around $47.6m) on September 1, 2002. The persistent problems with wagearrears in the regions of Russia are due to the failure to comply with theFinancial Ministry's orders related to improving the situation withregional finances. The Kirov, Irkutsk, Omsk, Leningrad, Krasnoyarsk regionsand the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) along with a number of other Russianregions account for one third of the total wage arrears. .
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia