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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stepashin To Visit U.S. For Meetings With Gore

WASHINGTON -- Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin is due in Washington at the end of the month for talks with U.S. Vice President Al Gore and a close look at American corporations as Russia sinks deeper into its economic doldrums.

The visit July 27 will be Stepashin's first as prime minister and the first meeting in a year of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation.

Ten committees will meet on business development, energy, health, environment, science and technology and other subjects.

Stepashin is also interested in meeting with President Bill Clinton, and that likely will be arranged, officials said.

Stepashin, who has talked several times to Gore on the telephone, is due to bring government economic specialists with him for talks with leaders of American corporations, a statement issued Monday by Gore's office said.

The prime minister is expected to stop in Seattle to meet with officials of Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co. on July 25 and then travel to Detroit on July 26 to see officials of Ford Motor Co.

Economics Minister Andrei Shapovalyants reported last weekend that foreign investment in Russia had slumped 40 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with 1998. He promised reforms to attract investors unnerved by Russia's financial troubles.

Total foreign investment in Russia was $1.5 billion in January-March, down from $2.5 billion in the same period last year. Direct investment over the same period totaled $600 million, down 20 percent.

Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov was on his way to Washington in March for a commission meeting when he turned around his jet and went home rather than be in Washington for the announcement that NATO warplanes were bombing Yugoslavia to force a settlement in Kosovo.

Gore, in a statement, said the joint commission was useful in helping the two sides to "expand our areas of agreement and open channels we can draw on during periods of disagreement.''