The IMF has made a more optimistic forecast of the economic development of Russia than the Russian government's estimate of it. Journalists were told this in Washington by Vice-Premier and Minister of Finance of Russia Alexei Kudrin who commented on the IMF's forecast of a 4.4-per-cent economic growth in Russia this year. The Vice-Premier summed up the results of his work within the spring session of the leading bodies of the IMF and the World Bank. According to Kudrin, the Fund's specialists "see a possibility of higher growth rates" on the main indicators forecast by the IMF. The Vice-Premier also noted that the president of Russia "has demanded even higher growth rates" and expressed confidence that such rates were attainable through the active carrying out of reforms. He has stressed that some of them are designated in the the President's address to the Federal Assembly. Listed among them is the more active implementation of the administrative reform as far as the annulment of a number of controlling and regulating functions of the state is concerned. "We try to protect business from excessive patronage and from the use of our law-enforcement structures for the purposes of competition struggle", Kudrin said. He noted that the government has "quite a number of other proposals which will, in the course of their implementation, allow the economic growth rates in Russia to be increased". The Vice-Premier pointed out that the government of the Russian Federation had ventured to take these measures and not to slow down the reforms despite the parliamentary elections slated to be held next year. Kudrin specially stressed that "the president's political resource and the potential of carrying out reforms are being put to use here".
Twenty years later, the cause of death of 118 Kursk submariners remains a mystery. the Russian navy was unable to save the dying men.