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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) Arkady Volsky predicted in an interview with RIA Novosti on Monday that if Mikhail Fradkov is appointed prime minister of Russia, there will be an inflow of foreign investments to Russia.

    "Fradkov brilliantly upholds the image of Russian business abroad," Mr. Volsky said. "That is one of his merits. He holds the position of the Russian ambassador to the European Union. I think he knows his job, he knows the West and he will pull in investments. I can guarantee that because I know that he is favorably treated in the West."

    Mr. Volsky predicted another thaw in the West's attitude to Russia. "I am sure of it. Fradkov is someone the press would call an unacceptable to the West," Mr. Volsky said.

    Mr. Volsky believes that Russia businesses agree with the president's choice. "It is a wise decision," he continued. "We have a favorable opinion of him. Being a machine-tool constructor, he graduated from the Foreign Trade Academy and used to hold government posts."

    Mr. Volsky believes that the appointment of Fradkov to the post of prime minister will correct the government's course. "I think, he is clever and tough enough," he said.

    According to Mr. Volsky, entrepreneurs hope that new prime minister will fight corruption, as far as he has the experience of work in tax police. "It will be great if he continues the course he led in the Foreign Trade Ministry," Mr. Volsky added.

    He also said that the pressure on big businesses would increase. Mr. Volsky noted that Mr. Fradkov was the chief of tax police and that he "knows everything about oligarchs."

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