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Press release, 06.10.2000
The budget has the money to start tackling the main issues in the country: military reform, a qualitative improvement in education and judicial reform.

Most of the Yabloko faction will support the draft budget for 2001. However, it will be a free vote. The faction appreciates the government’s consideration of many of Yabloko’s proposals for the budget-2000. The faction supports the reduction in personal income tax and the introduction of a regressive scale for the social tax, the trend to curb external debts and other proposals reflected in the budget-2001.

At the same time the deputies of the faction detected from their study of the economic indices and budget parameters a possibility to increase considerably the revenue side of the budget through different non-inflationary sources and above all not through a change in the oil price. The total reaches 88 bln roubles.

The Yabloko faction proposed to finance with these resources such priority goals for the country as consolidation of the country’s defence potential, a launch of military reform, including the transfer of the army to a contract-basis service, an increase in allowances for the military, complete package of social benefits for those discharged into the reserve, as well as qualitative improvements in education and judicial reform. In other words, additional funds will make it possible to transform the budget into a tool of economic policy based on the actual accounts.

According to Yabloko, the refusal of the government to discuss the sources of the funds and variants of their expenditure demonstrates yet again that the implementation of large-scale programmes in the country depend on the President, rather than the Government. Consequently, the faction did not call for a block vote for the budget.

The deputies of the faction support the constructive provisions of the budget, but at the same time refuse to tolerate a situation where the newly discovered additional revenues will be torn apart by Duma lobbyists. Therefore, most of the Yabloko faction will support the draft budget for


If the draft budget is adopted at its first reading, the Yabloko faction

reserves the right to propose that the President immediately start implementing the provisions of military reform and reconsider opportunities to exploit the additional revenues discovered in the budget.

The faction believes that if the President plans to oversee military reform, as he recently declared, it will be not difficult for him to conduct negotiations with the factions close to him.

Alexei Arbatov: developments in Yugoslavia depend on the position of the military

The developments in Yugoslavia depend on the position of the military and the side that the Yugoslavian army takes in the political conflict, said

Deputy Head of the Defence Committee of the State Duma and deputy from the Yabloko faction Alexei Arbatov in an interview with journalists on October 6, 2000.

Arbatov said that the declaration of the leadership of the Yugoslavian armed forces that the army would keep neutral “gives us hope”. However, if the

pogroms, arsons and disorder in Belgrade do not stop, the opponents of Kostunitsa may try to use them as a pretext for drawing the army into the conflict, which should not be allowed, added Arbatov.

According to Arbatov, Russian diplomats, can and must in this situation

help resolve the conflict in Yugoslavia. “It is not too late to stop Miloshevich from using force and at the same time influence Kostunitsa to install order in Belgrade and prevent any further escalation of the situation in Belgrade,” stressed Arbatov.

Based on RBC reports.

See also:

Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction expresses concern that a civil war may break out in Yugoslavia

Mikhail Zadornov forecasts continued economic growth in Russia in 2001

Economic growth will increase in Russia in 2001, stated the Head of the Sub-committee on Central Bank Activities (the Banking Committee of the State Duma) Mikhail Zadornov at an international conference in London entitled

“The Debt and Stock Markets of Russia”.

According to Zadornov’s forecasts, GDP growth with reach 3-3.5% in 2001.

He also thinks that the gold and hard currency reserves of the Central Bank of Russia will increase by $7-8 bln in 2001.

According to Zadornov, the rouble will appreciate by about 6% in 2001 and 15% on the results of 2000.

Based on Interfax reports.