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The most popular source countries were Ukraine, Turkey, Moldova and CIS countries, followed by Germany, Afghanistan and Israel.Britain and the United States also featured on the list.

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"There's an idea that foreign men will be different [from Russian men]," she said.And the number continued to drop to 6 percent among those aged 25 or younger.As the economic motivation to search for a partner abroad has weakened, most of the reasons for looking beyond Russia's borders are cultural, says dating coach and English teacher Svetlana Tolstykh, 40.Ponomaryova says that the industry has gone through trends.Initially, women were hoping to find a partner from the United States, then Britain.When Russia plunged into chaos following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of its citizens looked for a reliable way out.

Naturally, foreigners were viewed as a bridge to the more developed and "civilized" West.

Russian women are also more forward, he says: "You can just be talking to someone and some beautiful girl will come up to you with a chat-up line.

Back at home, the guy would have to have to make the first move." Not every Russian woman has access to expat hangout spots, though, giving rise to a booming business of dating agencies that specialize in foreign men.

Most male expats say that their nationality can still have a positive impact on girls.

"You can just speak English and heads will turn," said Sean, 26, an English language teacher.

European men have a reputation for being more independent and better planners.