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    RUSSIAN CUSTOMS ANNUALLY BRING 120 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE BUDGET, SAYS KUDRIN

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    MOSCOW, January 29, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Yevgenia Yakuta) - The customs services annually transfer 120 million dollars to the budget. Russian Vice Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin cited these figures on Thursday in opening the international conference of customs services in the European region.

    "The customs annually ensure 40 percent of the federal budget's revenues," the minister said.

    Last year, Russia's trade went up by 24 percent and amounted to 209 billion dollars. Russian exports grew up by 25.3 percent, Kudrin said.

    The Finance Minister reminded the audience that since January 1, a new Customs Code of the Russian Federation had come into force, and in view of this he expressed the hope that this fact would contribute to the improvement of the trade climate in the country.

    The Vice Premier underscored that "the customs services must not remain only fiscal bodies" In his opinion, the activity of the customs must be aimed at regulating trade.

    Alexei Kudrin also reminded the audience that the World Bank had granted Russia a credit of 140 million dollars for the technical equipment of the customs services. "I hope that this will help raising the level of the Russian Customs.

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