Russia's Finance Ministry is to make the year's final payment to the International Monetary Fund later this week. The ministry will transfer $24,615,000 in debt payments to the IMF on Thursday, December 27. The previous transfer was made December 17, and amounted to $24,607,000. As of late October, Russia's debt to the IMF stood at $8.347 billion. According to preliminary estimates, which take into account the early debt payments, the country's debt to the Fund will shrink to 7.69 billion by December 31, 2001. IMF officials say Russia meets its obligations to the Fund in full. Its early payments of two months ago make it a good borrower in the IMF experts' eyes.
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