The Russian government elaborated on proposals on delaying the financing of some 2002 budget expenditures in the event the volume of budget revenues is lower than expected. Earlier the Duma budget committee worked out a plan that provides for delays in financing some budget items up to the fourth quarter of 2002 if oil prices drop below $16 per barrel. In this case the volume of budget expenditures will be cut by 68.6bn rubles (about $2.29bn) in 2002. In particular, the government suggested that in the event oil prices drop significantly next year, expenditures for national defense should be cut by 10bn rubles ($334m) and expenditures for law enforcement agencies and state security will drop 5.5bn rubles ($184m). Expenditures for social projects and agriculture will fall 2bn rubles ($67m) and 4.5bn rubles ($150m) correspondingly.
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