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Risks of Russian Business Climate Still High - Putin

SOCHI. Sept 16 (Interfax) -The Russian authorities are unhappy with the country's existing investment climate, which provokes capital outflows, and are ready to listen to international experts' assessments, which sometimes appear to be quite strange, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"It is necessary to recognize that, to our regret, risks and uncertainties of our business climate are still high," Putin said at the Sochi-2011 Investment Forum.

Capital outflows from Russia continue growing, the premier said.

He also criticized methods used to compile international ratings, admitting, however, that critical assessments are largely fair.

"You know, attitudes toward international rating agencies can vary. They themselves make a lot of mistakes. I would like these assessments to be more balanced. For example, Russia is almost the world's leader in terms of malaria's influence on business. But what does malaria have to do with Russia? These are strange assessments, strange criteria. But, disengaging ourselves from such absurdities, we treat our colleagues, who give such unfavorable assessments, seriously and understand that a lot should be changed," Putin said.

Russia's goal should be to create an environment conducive to investment in production and high technologies, instead of acting as a "quiet haven" for speculative capital, he said.

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