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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Says Talks With 'George' Will Focus on U.S. Investment

President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he wanted to focus on boosting U.S.-Russian economic ties during his upcoming visit to the United States, and urged the American business community to invest more actively in Russia.

Putin said economic issues would figure prominently at his late September summit at Camp David, Maryland, with U.S. President George W. Bush. The summit is expected to follow the Commercial Energy Summit in St. Petersburg Sept. 21-22.

"George and I often discuss economic issues," Interfax quoted Putin as saying at the start of his meeting with Maurice Greenberg, chairman of American International Group.

"I believe that this time, as before, the main emphasis at this meeting should be given to issues relating to our economic cooperation," Putin said.

Putin said he welcomed AIG's plans to invest in the development of Russia's mortgage system. "Your participation is of utmost importance to us," he said.

Putin expressed regret that U.S. companies ranked only eighth last year among foreign investors in Russia and voiced hope that more U.S. investors would come.

"We strongly hope that representatives of the U.S. business community will help create favorable conditions for our economic cooperation," he said.

AIG is one of the United States' largest insurance and financial corporations and ranks among the world's top 10 financial and banking institutions. Its members have operated here for several years and represent a range of insurance, investment and financial services.

Greenberg said AIG and affiliated companies had invested some $300 million in the Russian economy in recent years, and was considering making more investments.

The meeting followed a plunge on Russia's stock market this month that reflected investors' fears over an official probe against Yukos. (AP, MT)