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Deputy Prime Minister Kudrin also said that the government's large gold and foreign-currency reserves and the new export tariffs will enable the government both to weather the consequences of a possible war in Iraq and to find money for social programs. According to a directive from President Vladimir Putin, the Finance Ministry will pay financial compensation to civilians in Chechnya whose property has been damaged during the military operation there (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 February 2003). Kudrin said the government will spend about 20 billion rubles ($645 million) on this over the next two to three years. He also admitted that the problem of wage arrears to state-sector workers has become worse in recent months, with total indebtedness rising to 12 billion rubles. Kudrin said the government will work with regional administrations to solve this problem quickly. VY