The current volume of the Russian foreign debt "is not dangerous for its economy", Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has stated at a governmental meeting.
Since early 2000 the national debt totaled 100 per cent of the gross domestic product, while now its equivalent has decreased to 40 per cent, the Premier pointed out.
"It is lower than indices considered normal in the EU member-states," Kasyanov stated.
Moreover, despite "the completely changed situation", Russia must determine new priorities and objectives in its debt policy, the Premier pointed out.
Primarily, it is necessary to lower the cost of servicing the debt in order to avoid using economy means to pay it off, the head of the Russian government stated.
In compliance with the Finance Ministry's documents, presented at the meeting, the volume of the Russian foreign debt in 2003 totals 123.5 billion dollars, while in early 2000 its volume was 158.4 billion dollars.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.