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    RUSSIA TO TAKE SEVERAL YEARS TO INTRODUCE INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

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    MOSCOW, February 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Natalia Byrkina) - It will take Russia a few years to introduce international accounting standards, believes Economic Development Minister German Gref.

    "I believe this goal can be achieve within a few years. The transfer should be gradual, at first for large companies and then for the rest. This will take several years. It is impossible to transfer completely to international accounting standards in 2005, 2006 or even 2007," he said at the 5th annual investment conference held by the US Chamber of Commerce in Russia.

    Russia's transfer to international accounting standards is required by the World Bank, the IMF, large investment companies and banks. The standards the country uses at present differ significantly from those common in the West.

    The issue will be discussed at a government session in February, Gref announced.

    Before introducing international standards, it is necessary to simplify the domestic accounting system, the minister emphasized. Now, alongside the financial and tax accounting, many companies have "a true accounting" for their own use, he said.

    "It is the most honest economy and it should become basis of the accounting," Gref believes.

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