Russia's federal budget for 2002 envisages allocation of 78 billion rubles ($1 being approximately 29 rubles) to education needs, an increase of 22 billion rubles compared with this year's budget. In 2002 the total consolidated budget of education will amount to 383.3 billion rubles with due account of the regional funds. This will allow, in particular, to considerably increase wages of education workers, pay out grants to students and pupils, and augment spending on catering to pupils and orphans. Funds will be allocated to renew library stocks of educational establishments, stage capital repairs of hostels, and hold professional training of students. As many as 1.6 billion rubles will be allocated for construction of new objects. Unfortunately, scholarships to Russian students will not be increased next year. For this purpose a respective law should be passed, in compliance with which an additional 4 billion rubles should be stipulated in the budget. The issue of increasing scholarships remains to be very acute.
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