The Russian government will launch a new small business support programme in 2003, Vice Premier Alexei Kudrin said. According to him, the programme will be worked out in the beginning of 2002 following the results of the meeting of the State Council which is currently discussing this issue in the Kremlin. The new programme will replace the previous one launched two years ago. The Vice Premier gave a positive appraisal of the concept of the state small business support prepared for today's meeting of the working group of the State Council presidium, a consultative body subordinate to the Russian President.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia