Her self-help book promises to hand women the key to "joint travel, candlelight dinners, a home in Europe" and a "comfortable life" in 90 days.

Ponomaryova says that the industry has gone through trends.

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This is a world of dating agencies, psychologists, therapists, etiquette training and self-help courses, all geared towards the question of where to meet and how to keep foreign lovers.

Many of the agencies also offer English language courses and translators to facilitate online communication.

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.

Tolstykh, whose agency "Here I Am" helps Russian women establish relationships with European men, said most of her clients were "mature" women who had already gone through a divorce or had been disappointed by their relationships with their fellow countrymen.

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.

"It's better to wed one of your own, than an overseas prince.

Life is not as scary," said one respondent in a poll conducted by the website.

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.