Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taylor to Meet Top Officials

U.S. Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor met Tuesday with the heads of small and medium-sized Russian businesses on a trip aimed at gauging Russia's progress on banking and other reforms.

Taylor was to meet later in the day with leaders of a new government watchdog agency, the Financial Monitoring Committee, the U.S. Embassy press office said.

Taylor's trip is designed to lay the groundwork for the economic portions of U.S. President George W. Bush's summit in late May with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Before his departure, Taylor said that he planned to discuss with small-business owners Russia's efforts to remove restrictions to the creation of small businesses.

Prior to his visit, Taylor said that Russia has made significant progress with its economic reforms in such vital areas as tax collection, land policy and bankruptcy.

"There have been a lot of good policy changes in Russia," Taylor said Monday.

"The introduction of the flat tax, the reduction of the corporate tax, land reform, bankruptcy law -- those are all good changes."

Taylor also planned to meet with Sergei Ignatyev, the new chairman of the Central Bank, who is expected to add momentum to the country's long-delayed push for reforms in the banking sector.

Ignatyev was picked last month to replace Viktor Gerashchenko, who had repeatedly clashed with Putin's economic team over various economic reforms the president wants to put in place to boost the country's long-term growth prospects.

Taylor expressed hope that a stronger banking system would provide the capital needed to make loans to more private businesses.

In addition to economic reforms, Taylor said he would use the trip to review Russia's efforts to crack down on international terrorist financing, a big part of the Bush administration's global war on terrorism.