09:42 GMT +318 January 2020
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    SALT LAKE CITY (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told reporters that state of Utah Governor Gary Herbert supports the concept of establishing a high-level regional business commission between the two countries.

    "Today, we spoke about the possible creation of business commissions at the regional level, for example, the state of Utah and Ryazan or Utah and Izhevsk," Antonov said after meeting with the governor on Tuesday. "I can say that he [Herbert] supported them."

    Antonov said the high-level group would allow business leaders from both countries to promote development of bilateral trade and investments.

    It is not a secret, Antonov said, that at the federal level things are not going well — neither in the area of politics nor in economics. Antonov said the Utah governor also supported the idea of reviving sister city ties with Russian towns such as Izhevsk and Votkins.

    The ambassador said he hoped as a result of his visit representatives of Russia’s different regions will come to Utah or that Utah’s representatives will travel to these regions.

    READ MORE: Just Business: Why US Energy Giants Are Opposing Anti-Russia Sanctions

    Antonov is currently on a visit in the US State of Utah, where he already had a meeting with Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert, met with representatives of the business community and visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.

    Most US companies remain positive about their work in Russia, despite several rounds of sanctions imposed on Moscow by Washington, according to a survey carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia in April.

    The survey revealed that almost 70 percent of US businesses intended to start new projects in Russia in 2019, and almost 90 percent planned to either increase their investments in Russia or at least maintain them.

    US Envoy Huntsman Does Useful Work to Stabilize US-Russia Relations

    "Ambassador Huntsman is doing useful work toward stabilizing US-Russia relations," Antonov said Tuesday.

    Utah Governor Gary Herbert said US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, who also served as governor of Utah from 2005-2009, called him on Monday night to ask him to convey a friendly welcome before the meeting with Antonov.

    "I feel Huntsman’s support while being here and feel his determination toward developing relations between the regions," Antonov said.

    Relations between the United States and Russia worsened following the two countries’ disagreement over the crisis in Ukraine. The United States imposed several round of sanctions against Russia after Crimea held a referendum in 2014 in which a vast majority of residents decided to reunify with Russia.

    Washington also accused Moscow of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and has imposed additional rounds of sanctions. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations saying they were made up to excuse the election loss of a presidential candidate as well as deflect public opinion from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.


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    regional business, investments, cooperation, Gary Herbert, Anatoly Antonov, United States, Russia, Utah
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