Russia's Putin pledges to boost banks, industries

ST PETERSBURG, Russia Fri May 23, 2014 7:37am EDT

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ST PETERSBURG, Russia May 23 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told an economic forum in St Petersburg on Friday that the world's top oil and gas producer should diversify from energy exports and pledged to boost major domestic banks and industries.

Putin also said there is a plan to create a state fund to help replace imports from Western countries with domestic production. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Lidia Kelly)

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