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    MOSCOW ENVIRONS START EUROPE'S BIGGEST SHOW CENTRE

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    MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Krasnogorsk district, close to Moscow, opened the Crocus Expo, Europe's largest exposition centre, in today's gala.

    "The Crocus is the most precious gem of what we know as Regional Ring," said Boris Gromov, Moscow regional governor. An ambitious project, partly implemented for now, has four Ashan hypermarkets and a hypermarket owned by the German-based Marktkauf- all close to the Moscow Ring Road, which marks the megalopolitan boundary.

    The huge Crocus Expo pavilion, floor space exceeding 40,000 sq m, possesses four exposition halls, all put together bigger than four football fields. A free parking lot can hold 3,000 or even more cars.

    The Crocus is on the suburban not city side of the Ring Road, so cars and jumbo lorries have no problems coming close.

    Pioneer equipment makes the Crocus unsurpassed not in Russia alone but throughout Europe, said Aras Agalarov, Director General of the exposition centre. "It's a revolution in the exhibiting business," governor Gromov joined in.

    There are blueprints for a two-storey edifice to rise next to the now available pavilion, with another seven exposition halls, total floor space 60,000 sq m. All together, the floor space will make a breathtaking 100,000 sq m-Russia's biggest.

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