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    US NOT INTERESTED IN VISA OBSTACLES FOR RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti) -- The United States is not interested in erecting visa obstacles in its relations with Russia.

    US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated at his Moscow meeting with Russian and American businessmen that Washington would not like all the changes in the visa regime between the two countries, meant to enhance security, not to discourage those who want to visit the United States.

    We have to change visa issuing process to know who comes to visit our country, for security reasons, the Secretary of State said. But we try to do it in such a way that people could know that the US remains an open country.

    We want to see students coming to our country, and Russians being able to see our cultural sights. We are particularly interested in developing business relations, Powell noted. We work with your Ambassadors abroad, with the consular personnel, and with the security services to facilitate visa issuing for all those who wish to come to the United States, the State Secretary said.

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