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    Russia's Putin to open Davos forum

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    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give the keynote address at the opening of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give the keynote address at the opening of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

    The forum, which will last until February 1 and involve over 40 leaders, will focus on ways to overcome the global financial crisis and anticipate its implications for further economic development.

    "Putin will speak about the crisis, and outline his ideas on the post-crisis period, the necessity of reviewing the current economic situation in order to protect us from new crisis in future," press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

    "No doubt, he will mention measures being take by the Russian government on the national level to minimize consequences of the crisis. Perhaps he will briefly fix on the international situation," the official added.

    He said the forum would be a good opportunity for Putin to explain Russia's position on many problems, including the gas crisis earlier this month, when Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine was halted.

    Peskov said encouraging foreign investment in Russia was one of the goals of Putin's trip to the forum, and the premier would try to bring it home to world leaders that Russia "remains attractive for international investment and retains great potential for further growth."

    The participants of the forum, tentatively more than 2,500 people from 96 countries, are expected to discuss financial system stability, global economic recovery and problems of global, national and regional management in the long-term outlook among other issues.

    "Although no decisions are taken at the forum, discussions are subsequently considered when taking collective decisions as well as in decisions by certain countries and international organizations," said Yury Ushakov, a deputy chief of staff in the Russian government.

    The Russian delegation will number some 50 people, representing such companies as LUKoil, Bazel, RusAl, Novatek, Severstal, AFK-Sistema, VimpelCom, Wimm-Bill-Dann as well as the Development Bank and VTB.

    In an interview with the Bloomberg financial news agency on Sunday, Putin said the Russian delegation at the Davos forum intended to confirm its commitment to developing common standards for the world economy, as well as unified principles for international financial markets.

    According to Putin, the European Union has elaborated some agreements and Euro-zone countries are trying to comply with them, but there are no similar rules on a global scale.

    "They in general would play a stabilizing role. Secondly, now, in the conditions of globalization, inter-dependence is so great that all the countries would be interested in that," Putin said.

    "For example, Russia holds almost 50% of its gold and foreign currency reserves in the U.S. economy and it is important for us what the U.S. budget deficit in 2009 is," he added.

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