The 2003 budget draft will be without doubts approved by the State Duma,Viktor Alksnis, a member of the Duma committee for federal and regionalpolicies, noted in an interview with RBC. He is sure there will be nodifficulties while discussions on the budget draft due to the support ofthe centrist factions, which constitute a majority in the lower house ofparliament.At the same time, the parliamentarian stressed that the 2003 budget draftwas "the budget of degradation, aimed at servicing 5 percent of Russia'selite instead of improving the living standards of 95 percent of thepopulation". Additionally, Alksnis estimated the budget parameters asunrealistic, as Russia's economy was hung on oil prices. He believes thissituation will continue until professional and experienced politicians cometo power in Russia..
According to a source in the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia started deploying elite commando units in eastern Libya. Russian GRU officers, mercenaries and advisors have arrived in Libya