Today the Kaliningrad Region's Governor Vladimir Egorov met with Morris Hughes, the US Consul General in St. Petersburg. Vladimir Egorov pointed out that despite the US being one of the region's leading economic partners with a trade turnover of $73.3 million, they do not use the region's investment potential to the maximum. The 34 US-Kaliningrad joint ventures represent just 0.8% of all foreign investment in the region.
Mr. Hughes agreed with the observation, saying the main purpose of his visit to the Kaliningrad Region was precisely to increase the amount of US investment there. The American delegation consisted of the representatives of the US top ten companies experienced in dealing with Russia and Europe.
The participants of the meeting also discussed the preparations for an investment forum. Patronised by the Russian President's Plenipotentiary Victor Cherkesov and Co-President of the American EastWest Institute George Russell, the forum was supposed to have been held last autumn. Because of the September 11 events it will be held on August 2, 2002. Both Mr. Hughes and Mr. Egorov agreed that if the forum proved successful, it would attract foreign investment into the Northwestern part of Russia as a whole and into the Kaliningrad Region in particular.
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE