Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is confident that given a weighted budget and monetary policy inflation in Russia will be lowered this year to the planned 12-14 percent. Kasyanov made such a statement Wednesday speaking to State Duma deputies. According to the data provided by him, over the first four months of 2002 the federal budget surplus amounted to 2.1 percent. The splash of inflation traditional for the year's beginning was quickly suppressed and the Finance Ministry was instructed not to allow further uneven spending of budget funds, which would affect the key financial indicators, Kasyanov said. In January-April 2002, inflation in Russia constituted 6.6 percent against 9 percent in the same period last year. The economic growth in the first quarter was registered at 3.3 percent. "Currently, the situation is stable enough and controllable with the prospects of its further improvement," Mikhail Kasyanov stressed.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969