Russia's GDP (gross domestic product) growth this year is expected at 5.5 percent. Such a forecast has been compiled by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and reflected in its annual report. According to the Bank's forecast, in 2002 GDP growth will be 4 percent. The report also notes that this year the volume of foreign direct investments in the Russian economy will amount to USD 2 billion. Over the period from 1989 to 2000 inclusive, foreign investments in the Russian economy constituted about USD 10 billion, the EBRD notes. In 2002, the EBRD plans to invest in the Russian economy 1 billion euros (about USD 900 million), a third of the total amount of the bank's investments in CIS and Eastern European countries.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.