Consul General of the USA in St. Petersburg Morris Hughes today visited the Murmansk Region. As Hughes said in an interview with a Rosbalt correspondent, in Murmansk he discussed with Yuri Yevdokymov questions of developing small and large business in the region, and questions of access to capital. In the opinion of the American diplomat, the Murmansk area is sufficiently viable and has perspective for economic collaboration.
However, Hughes remarked that American investment in Russia is currently only at a moderate level, which is partly consequence of Russia's economic collapse in 1998. In his opinion, it will take time before investors once again trust Russia. The consul sited the 'untransparency of financial flow, the muddled rules of the interaction between partners, and the absence of tax incentives' as hindrances to economic development. At the same time, he rated the presence of the Murmansk trade port as valuable, as well as the professionalism and skill of the workers.
'The meeting with Governor Yuri Yevdokymov showed that we understand one another', remarked the American diplomat. 'The mutual relationship that we now have is a new thing. The governor is ready to support joint investment projects in the economy of the Kolsk Peninsula and attract prospective investors with tax incentives'.
This was the American consul's second visit to Murmansk within a month.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969