Speaker of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznev said that the Lower House of the parliament would be oriented in its work on improving the life of the Russian people. While speaking at the opening of the spring session of the State Duma on Wednesday, Gennady Seleznev emphasised that "assistance should be given to a third of Russia's population who is below the poverty line and also to the unemployed whose number, according to the official data, exceeds six million, as well as to small-income families and to homeless children." The spring session will last till the middle of June, 2002.
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