Russia's financial reserve may amount to 250bn rubles ($7.86bn) in 2002, Presidential Economic Advisor Andrey Illarionov declared at a news conference today. He believes that there is no necessity in new loans. Attraction of new loans is harmful for Russia's economic growth. He mentioned that in 1998 in a seven-month period the Russian government took $23bn in credits trying to set off budget expenses due to the drop in oil prices, however it did not save the country from the financial crisis and a decrease in the economic growth.
Moreover, he pointed out that in the second half of 2002 Russia's industrial production dropped by 1.8 percent. In the period from 1999 to 2002 Russia has retreated from the third to eleventh position among 12 CIS countries in respect to the economic growth. Illarionov expressed hope that the GDP growth this year would exceed 4 percent. The growth in the oil industry has amounted to 8.6 in the first 11 months of 2002. Oil exports added 13 percent in the reported period and for the first time amounted to more than 4m barrels per day.
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