Mikhail Kasyanov is pleased with Russia's economic performance in 2002.
When addressing the State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, Wednesday, the Premier said that last year brought in surpluses at nearly all levels.
Last year, said Mr Kasyanov, Gross Domestic Product boosted 4.3%, productivity increased by 4.5%, while the population's real incomes went by nearly 9% up. Over the past 3 years, GDP boosted by 20% and people's real incomes by almost one fourth.
Russia no longer has to face a peak of payment of its foreign debts, said the premier. Russia's foreign debt share fell from 100 down to 40%. "There is no such thing as the foreign debt problem any longer," said the premier.
The country's federal financial system has been consolidated. Both the federal and consolidated budgets have been completely balanced by now, noted Mr Kasyanov.
However, worn industrial, housing and communal facilities are a very acute problem Russia has yet to settle, admitted the premier.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.