DAVOS FORUM NO LONGER FEARS RUSSIA

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DAVOS (Switzerland), January 21st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Andrei Illarionov, the presidential economic adviser, has said to RIA Novosti that the 2004 World Economic Forum in Davos is different from the previous meetings in a way that Davos has stopped fearing Russia.

"Formal attention to Russia has been considerably reduced, and this is undoubtedly a good sign," Illarionov believes.

In his words, the forum's agenda no longer includes concerns over a new political or economic crisis in Russia.

"This corresponds to reality because Russia has seen rapid economic growth at the level of 6.5% annually for six years now." "The forum is gradually shifting its attention from possible economic perturbations in Russia, and this makes us part of the countries that are traditionally out of the Davos discussions." Nonetheless, Illarionov did not rule it out that Russia might come under fire in view of the recent Yukos-related developments.

"The more criticism there is, the better. This will make it easier for us to see our mistakes, which is basically the purpose of the forum," he said.

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