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Medvedev Promises Less Red Tape

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that federal and regional government agencies shouldn’t demand any more paperwork from investors than existing rules call for.

Medvedev made the statement at an annual meeting of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council, which brings together representatives of about 40 major multinational corporations present in Russia.

“It’s necessary to state the principle that they can’t require documents that haven’t been directly stipulated,” Medvedev said, responding to one of the speeches at the event, Interfax reported.

The report didn’t say whose speech Medvedev was reacting to.

He also called on the foreign business community to press governments in Europe and the United States to work for a further easing of visa rules. Russia’s goal is to have no visas.

“There are a number of states inside the European Union that block free travel,” he said. “I think it’s unfair and short-sighted.”

He said progress had been made in visa relations with the United States, but it wasn’t “as obvious as we would like it to be.”

Medvedev reiterated that the goal of the ongoing privatization program is primarily to change the economy’s structure rather than fill the budget.

Procter & Gamble chief executive Robert McDonald spoke of the need for Russia to develop roads, more actively promote high technology and make sure the plan to improve customs services doesn’t stay on paper, Vedomosti reported on its website.

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