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.
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