The 2003 budget is to observe not only social obligations, but also Russia's obligations for its foreign debts, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin stated at a meeting of a council for interaction of the Federation Council with legislative bodies of Russian regions. In 2003, the country is to repay $17bn for foreign debts. He pointed out that "otherwise, non-implementation of liabilities could lead to a default and eventually, to capital flight, changes in the country's payment balance, devaluation of citizens' savings, and a decline in investments". Kudrin stressed once again that Russia would be able to cope with set tasks, which were an increase in the GDP, a growth of real incomes of citizens, a decrease in the inflation rate, and a surge of industrial production volume.
He pointed out that the 2003 consolidated budget stipulated the most considerable expenses for education, defense, industry, construction, energy, law-enforcement authorities, social policy, and healthcare.
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