Russia set to cooperate with Eastern Europe

Russia is now elevating its relations with Central European and Eastern European countries to an entirely new level; such relations are based on dialogue and joint efforts to solve common problems. This was disclosed in a RIA-NOVOSTI interview here today by Sergei Stepashin, chairman of the Russian Audit Chamber, who is heading a Russian delegation at a regional conference of chiefs of top financial watchdog agencies.

In his words, Russian and Polish specialists have assessed Baltic environmental problems in a comprehensive manner. We are moving to implement similar programs for the Black Sea region together with all the concerned countries, Stepashin added.

Stepashin also noted the new format of interaction with German colleagues as regards the disbursement of monies for housing programs for Russian servicemen, who were transferred from Germany. The Russian Audit Chamber has checked their disbursement on several occasions, subsequently exposing large-scale frauds; moreover, some Berlin-administration officials had to resign.

I met Romania's Prime Minister Adrian Nestase and other officials, agreeing to conduct joint auditing checks of our customs services, which hamper mutual deliveries, Stepashin noted.

According to RIA-NOVOSTI's sources, Stepashin also met his US counterpart David Walker in Bucharest; the latter came to Romania in order to take an unofficial part in a conference of chief Central European and Eastern European financial auditors. Stepashin and Walker mostly discussed efforts to monitor the disbursement of a $40-million US Congress loan, which was set aside for the purpose of recycling Russian nuclear and chemical waste.

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