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    BUSH ADMINISTRATION INTENDS TO CONTINUE CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH MOSCOW

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    WASHINGTON, MARCH 15 (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ARKADY ORLOV) - The results of the presidential election in Russia were not unexpected for the Bush Administration, which had forecasted Vladimir Putin's victory and is going to "continue the constructive dialogue with Moscow." American political scientist Ariel Cohen, in charge of the Russia studies in the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, told RIA Novosti.

    "The Bush Administration intends to continue constructive dialogue with Moscow especially in view of the worsening situation with the fight against terrorism," Cohen said.

    "The terrorist acts in Moscow, passenger trains in Spain and the Israeli port Ashdod show that terrorists are targeting the infrastructure and time their attacks with political events, such as elections," he said.

    "It is, therefore, necessary maximally to develop cooperation between the Russian and American counter terrorist structures," the American political scientist believes.

    As to the voters' mandate for further market reforms in Russia, which Putin got after the election, "it is still in the sphere of hopes," Cohen thinks.

    "Of course the United States would back the development of the Russian economy, court and law reforms and also the preservation of democratic achievements of the 1990s but only in as much as President Putin can put them into reality and his entourage is ready to help him. Time will show," Cohen said.

    As to the Western investors' expectations following the presidential election in Russia, Cohen said that representatives of big business in the United States will closely follow the developments in Putin's second term in Russia, noting such things as the equality of everybody before law, the absence of "favorites" of the state structures, equal approach to Russian and Western investors, which regrettably is not always the case. He recalled the situation surrounding the Exxon and Chevron situation in the Sakhalin-3 project (the oil project in Russia's Far East, when the Russian cabinet found no grounds to issue them licenses).

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