U.S. business fine with Putin

Oct. 30, 2004 at 12:34 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- President Vladimir Putin's drive to boost the Kremlin's power doesnt worry U.S. businesses, America's top business lobbyist told the Moscow Times.

There is no cause for concern, Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the newspaper in an interview published this weekend. The chamber represents over 3 million businesses worldwide, including more than 800 in Russia.

"Both of our nations are in the midst of restructuring our government," Donohue told the paper during a three-day visit to Moscow. In light of the growing threat of global terrorism, it is important to find a balance between protecting society while keeping them open, he said.

U.S. businesses are more concerned with increasing bilateral trade and seeing Russia join the World Trade Organization, Donohue said. Therefore protecting intellectual property rights, would dominate his talks with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and other senior officials, he said.

"It would be a mistake to link one individual and one company to a series of negotiations ... [which are] not about us telling the Russian government how to run their affairs, other than in the issues that we negotiate between one another," Donohue said.

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