Russia will have no problems with repaying debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2002, chairman of the Russian government Mikhail Kasyanov told the press conference in the House of Government. According to Kasyanov, repayment of debt to the Fund in 2001 accounted for USD 14.5 billion and the same amount is planned for 2002. The premier pointed out that this amount belongs to a "risk-free zone," given even a sharp fall in the world price of oil. He reminded that the Russian government may amend the 2002 budget should unforseen economic situations arise in foreign markets, which do not depend on the Russian government. Kasyanov also reported that Russia continues holding consultations with the IMF. He stressed that all the developed countries hold such consultations and Russia will continue its cooperation with international organisations, including the IMF.
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