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    U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL SAYS ECONOMIC CLIMATE IN RUSSIA HAS IMPROVED IN PAST FEW YEARS

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    WASHINGTON, February 20 (RIA Novosti correspondents Vasily Voropayev and Kirill Glebov) - The head of the Russian department of the U.S. State Department, John Evans, said the economic climate in Russia has appreciably improved over the past few years.

    The economic climate in Russia has doubtless considerably improved compared with the climate several years ago, Mr. Evans said at a presentation of the book, "Russia: All the 89 Regions Trade and Investment Guide," at the World Bank headquarters in Washington on Thursday.

    The senior diplomat stressed that the economic component of Russian-U.S. relations is very important. He also said American businessmen working in Russia are still concerned about the risks.

    The investment guide was presented by Veronika Krasheninnikova-Berge, the managing director of the Trade Economic Cooperation (Russia-U.S.) Council in New York, who noted that such studies have never been carried out before in Russia's history.

    Former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation James Collins noted that the main achievement of the authors of the book is that it would, as he hopes, serve as the beginning of a long process.

    According to the speakers, the guide is designed to familiarize businessmen with a possibility of cooperation and work not only in Moscow and other big cities but in Russia as a whole.

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