Lithuanian industrialists and entrepreneurs are specially interested in intensive cooperation with Russia, vice-president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists Mikolas Alialiunas stated. He noted that after the 1998 financial crisis in Russia the commercial ties between the two countries became weak and Russia currently ranks fourth in Lithuanian export volumes. However, in terms of import deliveries Russia is still in the lead. The leader of Lithuanian industrialists noted with satisfaction the fact that the Russian economy is on the rise, the country's creditability increased significantly and that Russians became more reliable partners. According to Alialiunas, this year saw a considerable change in cooperation with Russia: over the first ten months of 2001 Lithuanian exports grew by a record-high 80 percent year on year. Export of Lithuanian goods to CIS countries increased almost by 42 percent. Mikolas Alialiunas noted that political barriers hamper development of mutually beneficial cooperation. If such barriers are eliminated, the two countries' economic relations will achieve a qualitatively new level, Alialiunas believes.