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    US INTERESTED IN RUSSIAN NATURAL GAS

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    WASHINGTON, D.C., March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Arkady Orlov) - The United States is interested in cooperating with Russia in the oil and gas industry, and looks forward to Russian authorities confirming their intention to create a favorable investment climate for such cooperation, Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Asian Affairs, said on Thursday.

    Speaking at hearings in the House International Relations Committee, Ms. Jones said that by increasing its fuel exports to the world's markets, Russia would enhance global energy security.

    Given the ever-growing natural gas shortages in North America, liquefied gas from Russia will find a receptive market in the United States, the Assistant State Secretary said. The US government and major transnational energy corporations are waiting for Russia to send a clear signal that it will welcome foreign investment in the development of its energy reserves, she added.

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