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RUSSIANS CONFER WITH U.S. ON MONEY-LAUNDERING PROBE

Russian investigators are meeting with U.S. officials on the inquiry into a money-laundering scandal in which Russian gangsters are believed to have funneled as much as $10 billion through the Bank of New York.

The Russians are in Washington this week meeting with State and Justice Department officials "to discuss the money-laundering case and other subjects," State Department spokesman James P. Rubin told reporters Monday.

"What we would expect to do is talk to those (Russian) officials . . . about what kind of forensic and other support we could provide on an urgent basis," Rubin said.

French investigators have opened a related inquiry into a French bank's management of funds from Russia's Central Bank -- including money loaned by the International Monetary Fund -- and Austrian police are looking into possible links between an Austrian bank and allegations of money-laundering by Russian organized crime.

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