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Sergei Lavrov and Donald Johnston have discussed cooperation between Russia and the OECD for this year and the next
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Donald Johnston have discussed cooperation between Russia and the OECD for this year and the next, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release Monday. Lavrov and Johnston co-chaired the sixth session of the Russia-OECD Relations Committee in Moscow today. According to the press release, the 2005/06 cooperation program envisages Russia's closer involvement in activities of the OECD and of its working bodies in all key areas. It quoted Lavrov as saying that Russia and the OECD have come quite a long way in their partnership, establishing a high-level political dialog and developing an efficient mechanism for collaborative efforts. Lavrov said Russia sees the successful implementation of its cooperation program with the OECD as a "defining stage in the process of deepening our interaction." He pointed out the importance of studying the organization's extensive expertise in streamlining anti-trust and tax legislation, attracting foreign investment, privatizing government property, reforming the banking sector, solving problems related to economic regulation, effecting market reforms in agriculture and overhauling natural monopolies. The OECD, comprised of 30 countries, provides a forum for the governments of the member states to discuss, design and improve their economic and social policies. Through this organization, national governments can share expertise, search for solutions to mutual problems and work out coordinated interior and exterior policies. Such cooperation helps OECD governments to reach understandings, as has been the case with an agreement to elaborate legally binding codes regulating free movement of capital and services, as well as with anti-corruption accords. It also helps them improve methods for dealing with a wide range of issues. The main condition for membership in the OECD is a country's firm commitment to the principles of market economy and multiparty democracy. The OECD, whose nucleus was formed by European and North American countries, has now expanded to include Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. It actively cooperates with non-member countries, running joint programs with Russia (which has observer status in the organization) and the CIS, as well as with a number of Asian and Latin American nations. The OECD Secretariat is headquartered in Paris
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