#7 - JRL 7038
IN DAVOS RUSSIA NO LONGER A PROBLEM
DAVOS /SWITZERLAND/, January 28. /From a RIA Novosti correspondent/ -- Russia "is no longer a problematic theme" at the Davos forum, say Western and Russian participants in the World Economic Forum, which has ended its work in Davos on Tuesday.
The Western business circles' interest in Russia and its economy has become pragmatic since now it is no longer dictated by the desire to hear a sensation but is due to learning more and in greater detail about business management and investments in the Russian economy, the RIA Novosti correspondent quotes John Insledon, president of a large British financial company, as saying.
In turn, senator Mikhail Margelov believes that long gone are the times when a "Russian landing party" was required for Davos-caliber international events in order to explain what was going on in Russia. Now "Russia is transparent: everybody understands what we are doing, who the Russian president is and what kind of policy he pursues", said Margelov.
In the opinion of presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov, at the Davos 2003 forum "it was wholly clear that the Russian theme has no more relation to the problem- and conflict-ridden group of themes. The Russian theme now ranks among themes having to do with the policy and the economy of such countries as Germany, France and Spain, he noted.
Russian businessmen participating in the forum think that Davos has not lost for them topicality as a place for dialogue with foreign partners, for better understanding of the situation on world markets and the search for opportunities to broaden their business activities. Andrei Kostin, chairman of the board of Vneshtorgbank, has said to the RIA Novosti correspondent that gone are the times when Davos was an elite meeting place for mostly Russian top businessmen. Now an intensive and down-to-earth dialogue on business, banking and financial activities between Russian representatives and their foreign colleagues is on here.