PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS COST 2.7 BILLION ROUBLES

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MOSCOW, March 24, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Chairman of the Central Election Commission Alexander Veshnyakov said today in an answer to Izvestia readers' phone calls that the election campaign in Russia had cost about 2.7 billion roubles (about $95 million) for the federal budget.

"This is about the same sum as the expenditures for last year's election campaign before the State Duma (parliamentary) elections," he said.

Mr. Veshnyakov recalled that 4.3 billion roubles had been allocated from the federal budget for the possible runoff. The saved money will be returned to the country's budget, said Mr. Veshnyakov.

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