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RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE ISSUES A PLEA

A billionaire whose recent ouster from a top Kremlin post was seen as a check on Russian big business urged the government Wednesday to heed advice from the business world.

"It would be very helpful for the country if the business elite could advise the government," Boris Berezovsky told reporters. "That already happens covertly and it makes sense to legitimize it, so that the public understands the role of Russia's business."

Berezovsky, ranked by Fortune magazine as the world's 97th richest man with $3 billion in estimated wealth, served one year as deputy secretary of Boris Yeltsin's Security Council before being fired last month.

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