#1 - JRL 7139 RosBusinessConsulting April 9, 2003 Finance Ministry proposes reducing state support for the media The Finance Ministry suggests reducing state support for the mass media. This proposal is contained in the materials prepared by the Finance Ministry after a meeting of the government commission headed by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin The findings of the commission will be discussed at a government meeting on April 10. According to the Finance Ministry, up to RUR 1.1bn (about $35m) might be saved on the media in 2004. The Finance Ministry also suggested that the government reconsider the financing of the ITAR-TASS news agency, the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow State University and Gosfilmofond, Russia's national film archive. Russia is expected to save about RUR 37.2bn (about $1.19bn) by 2005, as a result of measures to optimize government spending, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said after a meeting of the government's commission on optimizing government spending on Tuesday last week. In 2004, the country will save RUR 28.5bn (about $910.5m) as a result of lifting federal budget obligations to certain ministries and departments.