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Next week, Seattle will host the first meeting of the ad hoc working group to expand trade and commerce between the American West Coast and Eastern Russia.
The Seattle meeting is unprecedented: for the first time in the history of bilateral foreign economic relations, two countries will sit down to discuss trade and investment issues with delegations comprised of central government representatives (Washington, D.C., and Moscow), regional government representatives (Russian Far East and American West Coast), and business representatives.
Over the course of the meetings, the ad hoc working group will generate projects and initiatives developed in the public and private sectors with the intent of recommending three-to-five demonstration projects to Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin for review at their meeting in Moscow on June 29-30.
"These sessions will be the starting point for an exciting initiative to expand commercial cooperation between West Coast states and the Russian Far East," said Gov. Mike Lowry. "It's a tremendous …