At a presentation on Thursday of the information channel "The Chechen Republic" in Internet Stanislav Ilyasov, chairman of the Chechen government, said that the future year will be "crucial" for his republic. He said that in 2002 investment programmes will be started, all limitations in the banking and financial spheres will be removed, a treasury and a customs house created. The chairman of the Chechen government recalled that in 2002 its budget would be increased three-fold in comparison with the previous year. Very soon the Chechen police will be increased numerically, an interdepartmental security service and a road inspection will be established. He also said that jointly with the United Group of Forces much work is being done to strengthen outposts, which are now operating also at night. The Chechen government chairman reported that the Constitutional Council has drafted several versions of the constitution of Chechnya and passed them to the head of the Chechen administration. Simultaneously, he noted that a constitution cannot be adopted without the creation of a legislative assembly, but first economic and social problems have to be settled.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.