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    RUSSIAN FINANCE MINISTER NOTES ATTRACTIVENESS OF RUSSIAN MARKET FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS

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    WASHINGTON, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plays a rather influential role in the structures of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin told journalists in Washington on Friday.

    Russia is among the leading shareholders of the WB and the IMF, he specified.

    In his words, today Russia's economic positions have strengthened and its markets attract investors.

    "Investors are coming to the Russian market, whose indices are growing above the average," the minister stressed. "This is a sufficient basis for being heard." Answering RIA Novosti's question whether Russia will try to repay its debt to the IMF before 2008, Kudrin said: "We are considering this issue." The Russian head of the finance ministry took part in the meeting of finance ministers of the G8 countries in Washington. Today, as part of a joint session of the World Bank and the IMF, he will take part in the meeting with US Assistant State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Alan Larsen, the president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, and German Finance Minister Hans Eichel.

    By the finance ministry data, Russia's debt to the IMF as of January 1, 2003, amounted to some $6.5 billion.

    Russia became an IMF member in June 1992.

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