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#14 - JRL 2006-146 - JRL Home
Russia needs Western technical cooperation - Kremlin deputy head

MOSCOW, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - Technological cooperation with the West is crucial for the future of Russia, a deputy chief of the Kremlin administration said Wednesday.

With Russia set to hold its debut summit of leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations in July, Vladislav Surkov said Russia's future to a great extent hinged on cooperation with Western countries.

"We have an acute need in technological cooperation with developed economies," Surkov said. "I am certain that Russia can never be modernized without interaction with the West."

Although Surkov, an influential aide to President Vladimir Putin, said Russia could learn a great deal from the West about dignity and respect for human life - something he called a priority - he was also critical of some nations' perception of Russia as a raw-materials appendage.

"Sometimes, words and thoughts [in the West] do not coincide," he said. "For example, they talk to us about democracy while thinking about our hydrocarbons."