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    WOLFENSOHN PRAISES RUSSIA'S 2004 ECONOMIC RECORD

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    MOSCOW, January 21st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - In the past year, Russia made considerable economic progress, World Bank President James Wolfensohn said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

    Russia made a substantial step forward in economic terms in 2004 and is making the most of its rapid economic growth, stressed Wolfensohn.

    Wolfensohn sees the next two years as an extremely significant period.

    The main problem facing Russia is the development of additional economic facilities and the provision of jobs, he said.

    In his opinion, Russia should concentrate on regional development, create credit financial sources, facilitate the registration of new enterprises and administrative business procedures, thereby reducing bureaucratic pressure.

    According to Wolfensohn, Russia is certainly dependent on natural resources, above all oil and oil prices.

    This dependence is not only typical for Russia, but for other oil extracting countries as well. There is nothing specifically Russian about it, added Wolfensohn.

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