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    NOVO-OGAREVO, January 20, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. "Russia's present financial-economic situation can bring relations between Moscow and the World Bank to a new level," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with World Bank President James Wolfensohn on Tuesday.

    According to Putin, Russia "will be playing a more active role as a bank's shareholder in the fulfillment of its regulation goals".

    Russia "will be taking more efforts to implement programs in the spheres of international assistance, development, the reform of the world financial architecture, the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing," Vladimir Putin noted.

    "Our efforts will be increased," the Russian President said adding that it fully meets Russia's status and role in the world economy.

    In his words, Russia is already playing an important role in many initiatives of the World Bank, for instance, Russia has made a big contribution into the lightening of the debt burden of the poorest countries.

    On his part, James Wolfensohn pointed out mature cooperation between Russia and the World Bank. Russia and the World Bank are working out all programs together, he said. "This can be done only by friends whose friendship has become mature," the World Bank President noted.

    In his opinion, cooperation between Russia and the World Bank should focus on the development of infrastructure, administrative reforms and social projects. Cooperation in the regions is useful, as well, he added.

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