Russian president Vladimir Putin contended that the state would fully settle debts to the military-industrial complex enterprises in the first quarter of 2002. Speaking live Monday on the ORT and RTR channels, the president remarked that the state had paid increasing attention to this sector over the past two years. "We have settled all our debts to the defence sector," said Vladimir Putin. "To be more precise, 80 percent of the debts have been paid, whereas the remaining 20 percent have been reserved and will be fully settled in the first quarter of 2002." The head of state also stressed that in 2002 the federal defence expenditures would be increased by 30 percent.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.