The Russian State Duma will pass the 3rd reading of the 2002 federal budget draft on November 30, Alexander Zhukov, the chairman of the Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes and member of the Russian Regions group, told journalists on Friday. According to Mr. Zhukov, the committee has practically finished the consideration of the changes into the federal budget draft to prepare it for the 3rd reading. "We are yet to make some changes in the wording in the articles that secure the budget in case federal revenues are be lower than planned," Mr. Zhukov said. He added that social spending which provides for increased public sector salaries, wages for military personnel, financing of the health sector, and so forth, will not be cut, whatever happens.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land