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    RUSSIAN COMPANIES DO NOT SHOW ANY SPECIAL INTEREST IN EXPO-2005

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    NARITA (Japan), March 1 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Fesyun) - Director of the national section of Russia at EXPO-2005 Vyacheslav Melnik called upon Russian companies to more actively sponsor the Russian segment of the exhibition.

    As Mr. Melnik, who arrived in Japan to coordinate the work to mount the exposition, told RIA Novosti, renunciation of sponsoring the national segment of EXPO-2005 deprives Russian companies of the possibility to advertise themselves all across the world.

    According to him, the amount of the allocated finance and observance of the schedule of the receipt of financial resources are the main difficulty in the preparation for such a representative exhibition. While no problems have emerged with the second element so far - the money for the exhibition, laid down in the budget ($8.5 mln), has been coming according to schedule, not everything is all right with the first component.

    "We counted on sponsoring by large Russian companies, but only Gazprom has displayed interest by the moment," Vyacheslav Melnik said.

    "The world exhibition is comparable with Olympic Games and even surpasses them in significance and impact on world public opinion," Vyacheslav Melnik believes. "Olympic Games are held once in four years, whereas EXPO - once in five years. One million people at the maximum visit Olympic Games, while, according to the preliminary calculations, up to 15 million visitors will come to Nagoya."

    According to the director, the bulk of the cargoes of the Russian exposition has already been transported to Japan by sea, and it is planned to carry the exhibits there shortly by special flights.

    The world exhibition EXPO-2005 will be held not far from the Japanese city of Nagoya from March 25 to September 25.

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