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    List of Russia's strategic industries may be shortened

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    Russia may reduce in the future the number of key economic sectors included in a list of strategic industries, the finance minister said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may reduce in the future the number of key economic sectors included in a list of strategic industries, the finance minister said on Monday.

    A new law on foreign investment in 42 strategic industries, clarifying the rules of investing in Russia, came into effect on May 7.

    "I believe that the current list [of 42 strategic industries] is a touch extensive and we may decide to shorten it in the future," Alexei Kudrin, who is also deputy prime minister, said, commenting on the creation of a special commission under the government regulating foreign investment in Russia.

    The new law requires any foreign investor seeking to buy a stake of over 50% in a company in one of the 42 strategic sectors to receive government approval.

    State-controlled foreign companies is required to seek permission to acquire more than 25% of shares in enterprises of strategic sectors, which include oil, gas, the nuclear industry, arms production, fisheries, airspace, and the media.

    Kudrin said the new rules could lead to the reduction of foreign investment in Russia but "the Russian economy is so dynamic nowadays that we won't even notice it."

    Accrued foreign investment in Russia stood at $221 billion as of May 30, 2008 - a 45.9% increase from May 30, 2007.

    Transport, mineral production, power generation, and the real estate market have been the major areas for foreign investment.

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