Rossia, June 6, 2002, pp. 1-2

This simple question is becoming more and more important for the Kremlin. No matter what radical reforms are initiated, for instance, in the court system or in development of informational technologies, they are will be in vain, if misappropriations and stealth of budgetary means are not stopped. Many governors are still willing to shift to the Kremlin the responsibility for growing wage arrears to budget-sector employees, for destruction of the housing and communal system. Now, President Putin intends to reform inter-budgetary relations so that the society could clearly see who does what and who is in charge of what.

There are two direction of putting the budget in order. The first is determined in the presidential budget address that has recently been presented to the Federal Council. Putin wants Kasyanov to know everything about every budget ruble.

The second direction is connected with reform of federative relations, the project of which is prepared by a commission headed by deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitry Kozak. In autumn, first law drafts are to be presented to the Duma, which will precisely determine what different power levels are in charge of. Governors will have fewer financial opportunities, but more responsibility. They will no longer have time for initiating all-Russia political actions or impressive pseudo-cultural events – before allocating budgetary money on another festival accompanied with feasts, regional authorities will have to repair houses or sewerage system.

Development of municipal self-administering is to slightly compensate for bitterness of such prospects. Federative reform is to be the most complicated and the most important trial for Putin’s team. If it is a success, Russia will finally have a completed power hierarchy, which will control financial currents and subdue embezzlement of budgetary means.


Yezhenedelny Zhurnal, June 4, 2002, p. 12

Supreme representative of the European Community for foreign politics and security issues Javier Solana used to be NATO General Secretary from 1995 to 1999. Under him, NATO and Russia singed in May 1997 in Paris agreement on partnership and cooperation that, in particular, the mechanism of relations in the “19+1 format”. According to Solana, the Rome declaration is a serious and significant continuation of the process that started in mid-1990s. Now, the Russia – NATO relations are on a completely new level. Before, Russia had a rather modest role in NATO, currently it is a member of this organization, and in a number of aspects it has equal rights with other NATO members. This will allow Russia to more actively and directly participate in construction of a stable, secure, and open Europe. Russia is gradually turning into a most important strategic partner of Europe.


Nezavisimoe Voyennoye Obozrenie, June 7, 2002, p. 1

Military training institutions of the Defense Ministry are unable to provide enough officers to the Russian Army. The number of military institutes’ students is calculated on the basis of 5-6% norm of reduction of the number of officers, which has been valid for decades – then, officers averagely served in the army for 20 – 25 years. From 1993, contracts gave officers an opportunity to resign after five years of service, and at present the number of officers who leave the army is two to three times higher than calculative reduction indices. With current trends, the Russian Army will have only 50% of officers, if it is staffed only at the expense of military higher education institutions only.


Nezavisimoe Voyennoye Obozrenie, June 7, 2002, p. 1

Commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force Colonel General Vladimir Mikhailov stated on June 5, that currently the basis of Russian military aviation park is aviation complexes of third (Su-24 and Su-25) and fourth (Su-27, MiG-31, and MiG-29) generations that will be able to compete with foreign analogues only in the next five to ten years on the conditions they are upgraded. According to Mikhailov, the reason for physical and moral aging of the Air Force aircraft park is absence of new samples of combat fighters. The cause of this is the state of the Russian economy, it scientific and production sectors, as well as extremely low funding.