The budget for the Belarus-Russian united state in 2003 will be over USD 76 million. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced at a press conference today by Head of the Finance Department for the Union Albert Stepanov. He said that money would be spent on the integration process (37.08%) and technical progress (23.83%). Money will also go towards financing socio-cultural programmes (14.55%), the ecology (10.04%) and military security (8.54%).
Mr Stepanov added that there plans to improve customs regulations as part of the integration process. There are also plans to raise the volume of exports and imports and reduce the import of illegal goods.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.