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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti) -- Russia and the United States need a solid strategic relationship, US Secretary of State Colin Powell believes.

    Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush, Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and myself, as well as Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov maintain close contacts, Powell told Russian and US businessmen in Moscow.

    However, personal relationship is not the only thing that matters, Powell added. People come and go. But we must establish long-lasting strategic relations, Powell stressed.

    In his opinion, expanded bilateral trade-and-economic ties can facilitate this process. This is what keeps any society going, Powell told his audience. All of you want to obtain profits and create new jobs, as well, Powell told Russian and US businessmen. However, the creation of durable and trusting relations between our two countries should become our ultimate goal, Powell said in conclusion.

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