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    PUTIN: RUSSIA TO FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ELIMINATION

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    NOVO-OGAREVO, January 20th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russia is currently preparing for another stage of the reform aimed at faster economic growth and more intensive poverty elimination. Vladimir Putin said this at his meeting with World Bank Chairman James Wolfensohn on Thursday.

    This stage of the reform will also provide for better infrastructure, including and above all in the social sphere," said the Russian president.

    He continued that Russia's economic priorities coincided with those of the World Bank activity. "They are further reform in education, healthcare, housing and communal sector, and large infrastructure facilities instrumental in raising Russia's competitiveness," Putin specified.

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