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US Commerce Dep't ‘Highly Values’ American Companies Operating in Russia

© Sputnik / Artem Zhitenev / Go to the photo bankA passer-by near the Moscow International Business Center "Moscow-City" in Moscow
A passer-by near the Moscow International Business Center Moscow-City in Moscow - Sputnik International
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American companies doing business in Russia are highly valued despite the two countries’ current rift in relations, US Department of Commerce Deputy Press Secretary Katarina Mayers told Sputnik.

NEW YORK (Sputnik) — Business leaders from various industries, as well as government officials from both Russia and the United States gather at the meeting each year. US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews and Russia’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev are among this year’s participants.

"Regardless of the circumstances, the US government highly values our long-term relationship with the USRBC (US-Russian Business Council) and American companies that export to and operate in Russia," Mayers said on Monday.

Mayers’ comments come on the eve of the annual meeting of the USRBC in New York City, a forum meant to promote business partnerships between Russia and the United States.

"USRBC’s members play a vital role in the Commerce Department’s top priorities: helping American businesses succeed in overseas markets and build strong host-country relationships."

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained since the start of the Ukrainian crisis last year and Crimea’s referendum to secede from Ukraine and reunite with Russia.

The US government took a hard line on Russia, accusing it of interfering with Ukrainian affairs and imposing rounds of economic sanctions. Moscow, however, has repeatedly refuted all allegations and called the imposition of sanctions counterproductive.

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