Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Says Commercial Cooperation With U.S. a Priority for Russia

Sep 25, 2009, 16:34 ET from U.S.-Russia Business Council

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today called U.S.-Russia bilateral trade, economic ties and investment relations "among the priorities of Russian foreign policy," and pointed to recent examples of positive commercial cooperation between the United States and Russia in the areas of aviation, agricultural equipment, metals, and fast moving consumer goods.

His remarks came during the 17th Annual Meeting of the U.S.-Russia Business Council in New York that highlighted opportunities for strengthening commercial collaboration between the United States and Russia as the two countries seek to resume economic growth amid the ongoing global economic crisis.

"We attach great importance to the prospects for development of scientific and technological cooperation with the Untied States in the field of cutting edge technologies," Minister Lavrov commented.

The Minister's remarks were echoed by U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle, who noted the potential for the United States and Russia to become strong business partners. Beyrle suggested that Russia stands at a critical crossroads in its economic development, and he argued that a strong Russia is in the interests of the United States.

Minister Lavrov noted that Russia views the modernization of its economy as a high priority as the country seeks to maintain a competitive edge in areas such as space travel and nuclear energy. He commented also that Russia seeks cooperation with foreign investors to access hydrocarbon deposits, the development of which requires sophisticated technologies.

Asked about the possibility of a simplified immigration regime for U.S. citizens and other foreigners, Minister Lavrov said that Russia is ready to go as far as its U.S. partners in establishing a visa-free business and tourist regime, a statement that was warmly received by the audience of business community representatives.

Minister Lavrov also highlighted recent collaboration between Russia's Association of Regional Banks' and the International Finance Corporation's plans to stabilize regional banks in Russia, and he called on U.S. banks and financial institutions to support a follow-on agreement to these efforts.

The U.S.-Russia Business Council ( is a Washington-based association representing approximately 250 companies, among them some of the leading firms in the U.S., Russia and Europe. Founded in 1993, its primary mission is to promote trade and investment between the United States and Russia.

SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council