Russian gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2001 will be one of the highest in the world and amount to 5.5 percent. Such a statement was made Friday by vice-premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who made an appearance in the State Duma (lower parliamentary house). According to him, such a GDP growth exceeds the average growth level of the world economy. Thus, "we can consider the year to be successful not only taking favourable circumstances into account, but also even the reduction of oil prices," Kudrin noted. "We will be able to preserve positive economic growth in Russia next year," the vice-premier stressed. Speaking about inflation in Russia Kudrin, noted that this year it has not exceeded 18 percent, as was envisaged.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987