updated 3/10/2005 4:23:23 PM ET 2005-03-10T21:23:23

Seven out of each 10 foreign investors questioned in a recent survey named official corruption as the main obstacle to their business in Russia, the country's economics minister said Thursday.

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref reported to President Vladimir Putin that the survey targeted 158 foreign companies that were working in Russia for a long time.

When asked to name main obstacles to their business in Russia, 71 percent of mentioned corruption, 66 percent referred to excessive administrative regulation, 56 percent pointed at selective justice, 51 percent talked about inadequate and self-contradictory legislation and 29 percent indicated conflicts between business and the government, Gref said in remarks released by the Kremlin.

Gref told Putin that the Cabinet would work to make decision-making process more transparent to remove basis for corruption. He said that relevant steps will be contained in the Cabinet's mid-term economic program.

Gref said that despite the problems, 80 percent of foreign investors questioned in the survey described their business in Russia as successful, 17 percent said their performance were moderate and only 3 percent said it was bad.

Russia's economy has grown strongly for five years under Putin, largely thanks to high world prices for oil — the nation's main export commodity.

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