Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the Bill on Amendments to the Federal Law on the Federal Budget for 2002, the Press Service of the Head of State reported. The amendments are due to an increase in servicemen's money allowances, introduced on July 2001, and changes in the number of judges. In this connection, the government has to allocate RUR38.96m for that purpose. This will be done by means of changing the volume of funds for state debt servicing by RUR18.4bn ($584.13m) as well as a proportional decrease in about 30% of budget expenditures, postponed until later dates, except for the expenditures on international affairs and financial aid to regional budgets.
The new law also approves the amendment to this year's budget dealing with the transfer of 42.11m shares in Vneshtorgbank from the Central Bank to the Government of Russia at the face value of RUR42.11bn ($1.34bn) in exchange for government securities, nominated in foreign currency, for the same amount. In order to implement the exchange agreement, the Russian government will issue federal bonds with fixed coupon income to be redeemed in 2012 and an annual coupon interest rate of 6%. The first coupon of these federal bonds is to be paid off in equal portions within 9 years, beginning 2004. The bill was passed by the State Duma on July 1 of this year and approved by the Federation Council on July 10, 2002.