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    MOSCOW REGARDS COOPERATION WITH WORLD BANK AS MECHANISM TO ADVANCE REFORMS INTO REGIONS

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    MOSCOW, January 19, 2004. /RIA Novosti/ -- Moscow regards cooperation with the World Bank as one of mechanisms to advance reforms into regions, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said in connection with World Bank President James Wolfensohn's visit to Russia.

    Wolfensohn is to arrive in Moscow on Monday evening, the Moscow office of the World Bank said.

    According to the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow regards cooperation with the World Bank as an important additional mechanism to advance economic reforms in Russia.

    "Russia regards the World Bank not only as a source of financing but also as an instrument of devolution of experience and knowledge and a mechanism to advance reforms into regions," Yakovenko stressed.

    According to the program of cooperation between Russia and the World Bank for 2002-2004, state management, the judicial reform, the development of competition, the reduction of social and ecological risks, further reforms of the education, health care and housing and communal and budget systems, financial markets, the bank sector and the development of small and medium-sized business are the most important spheres of cooperation.

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