The Yabloko faction in the State Duma will support the draft federal
budget for 2002 in the third reading. Such a decision was adopted at
the meeting of the faction on November 29, 2001. Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin also participated in this meeting.
"We can support the proposed financial scheme in general, as the
budget is reliable and has a reserve for the first time over the past
years," the First Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko
said about the formation of financial reserve. Consequently, said
Ivanenko, despite the falling oil prices, the necessary amendments to
the draft budget will not involve changes to the state’s social obligations
related to wage payments and pensions, as well as the issues of security
in the country and air flight safety.
the same time Yabloko's deputies expressed their concern about the budget
items which were reduced considerably during examination of the draft
budget in the Duma, in particular, the items connected with the provision
of the country’s nuclear safety and education (Yabloko thinks that it
is necessary to allot 1 bln roubles for the computerisation of educational
institutions). The deputies of the faction also stressed that the Russian
defence complex is under-financed.
Yabloko insists on the adoption of its amendments connected with the
financing of education, science and culture, i.e. the positions it has
been defending for eight years already," noted Ivanenko.
In addition, he stressed that "the faction will try to achieve
formation of open and transparent budget mechanisms, so that they
are incorporated in the blood and flesh of our parliament."
One of the leaders of the Yabloko faction also noted that "the
government should rise to a qualitatively new level on principal
negotiations with the world financial organisations, such as OPEC."
Speaking at a meeting of the Yabloko faction Kudrin noted that
developments in the world economy since the tragic events of September
11 in the USA make Russia "ready for financial risks and unfavourable
scenarios", and the government's duty is not to allow for the growth
of state debt and the "erosion" of Russian money. The task
of the government, said Kudrin, is to finance all the necessary expenditures
on military reform, national defence and law-enforcement agencies.
After the meeting of the faction, when answering questions from
journalists the Finance Minister noted that "the members of the
Yabloko faction have been actively working on the formation of the budget
from the very outset, supporting the draft budget with a surplus and
formation of a financial reserve." According to Kudrin, the government
had considered Yabloko's proposals on issues connected with the expenditures
on education and military reform. "In general we achieved a consensus
on all the positions," noted Kudrin.