The Russian Federation Council will consider the 2003 federal budget draft on December 18, 2002, Senior Deputy Speaker of the upper chamber of Russian parliament Valery Goreglyad told reporters. The Senior Deputy Speaker was quoted as saying the early consideration of the budget draft will allow the government to work out a memorandum of its implementation before the end of 2002. Additionally, the 2003 federal budget will probably be signed by the President before the end of 2002, Goreglyad said.
The Senior Federation Council official was quoted as saying the 2003 budget will be favorably different from the budgets of previous years thanks to its solid balance. Additionally, less "party populism" was involved in its discussion. Goreglyad pointed out the Russian federal budget was still heavily dependent on oil prices. This dependence diminishes every year, although at a very low rate, the Federation Council Deputy Speaker said. He expressed certainty that oil prices earmarked in the 2003 federal budget would allow for implementing the budget in full (the optimistic oil price is $21.5 per barrel, the pessimistic price - $18 per barrel).
In June, the Baltic States will hold BALTOPS and Saber Strike 2018 drills. A US Armored Brigade will be deployed in Europe for the purpose - no less than 4,000 soldiers
The import of liquefied natural gas from the United States will not grow, even if Germany exits the Nord Stream-2 project, German Minister of Economy and Energy Peter Altmeier said