According to 'The Forecast of Economic and Social Development of theRussian Federation in 2003 and Main Parameters throughout 2005' prepared bythe Economy Ministry for today's government meeting, the production indexin the non-ferrous metal industry will be 101 percent to 102 percent in2003 compared to the production volume in 2002. The primary aluminumproduction will be 100 percent to 101 percent, the refined copperproduction will be 98 percent to 100 percent, nickel 95-98 percent.The total volume of the non-ferrous metal industry production is expectedto be 107 percent this year, compared to 2001. The production of refinedcopper will drop by five percent and nickel by two percent in 2002 due tothe continuing decrease in export prices for these products and a retreatin copper concentrate imports from Mongolia. As a result of theintensification of production processes the primary aluminum output will goup slightly, as more than 99 percent of the production capacities of plantswill be used.The production volume of non-ferrous metals in the period from 2003 to 2005will depend on an increasing demand for these products. As a result, theproduction capacities of the non-ferrous metal industry's enterprises willbe used at a high level: aluminum producing enterprises will use more than99 percent of their production capacities, copper producing enterprises 89to 90.8 percent, nickel 81.8 to 85.3 percent. The total production volumein the non-ferrous metal industry will surge by 10 percent to 15 percent in2005, compared to 2001, including primary aluminum production by 1 percentto 4 percent. The production of refined copper and nickel is expected tostabilize at the forecasted level of 2003. .
Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation commented on the state of affairs in the Sea of Azov
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons