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Lavrov Affirms Russia Seeking Better Business and Investment Ties with the U.S.

March 27, 2019 (EIRNS)—In remarks yesterday to the opening session of the meeting of the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that Russia very much seeks closer business and investment cooperation with the United States.

He stated that organizations such as the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the Russian-American Council for Business Cooperation are vehicles for promoting bilateral cooperation, which Russia would like to increase. It was for that reason that Presidents Putin and Trump agreed at their Helsinki meeting last year to establish a coordinating business council to include executives from 5-7 private companies from each side. However, he explained, when the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs submitted relevant proposals to their U.S. partners, they never got a reply.

Nonetheless, U.S.-Russia trade has been growing steadily, along with a steady increase in reciprocal investment, Lavrov said, and this shows that there is real interest from U.S. companies and Russian investors in the U.S. to continue this trend. Russia wants to facilitate the development of business ties and to attract foreign business, including from the U.S., he said.

In addition, Russia also looks forward to the traditional participation of U.S. business representatives in various Russian economic fora, such as June’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). In conclusion, Lavrov referenced Karl Marx’s maxim that economics shouldn’t be held hostage to politics, as Marx considered “economy to be the foundation of relations.” But, he then continued, “I know that they insist in Europe and America that business should proceed from the need to sacrifice the economy to politics.” This is abnormal, because “it contradicts the interests of business, and the need to create jobs. It harms the interests of those who lose revenue to sanctions. I hope common sense will eventually prevail. More voices, including those in the West, are advocating this approach.”

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