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December 28 preview

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MOSCOW

* Chairman of the Beslan parliamentary commission and Federation Council Deputy Speaker Alexander Torshin will deliver a summary report on the commission's work to the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament (12:00 p.m.).

* Russian Information Technologies and Mass Communications Minister Leonid Reiman will give a news conference on the ministry's activities in 2005 (12:00 p.m.).

* RIA Novosti will host:

- a video conference, Moscow-Tbilisi, on the results of a session of the Joint Control Commission for the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict resolution with Georgian State Minister for Separatist Conflicts Georgy Khaindrava (3:00 p.m.);

- a news conference with head of the Political Research Institute Sergei Markov on possible scenarios in the Russian-Ukrainian natural gas dispute and the parliamentary elections in Ukraine (11:00 a.m.);

- a news conference on the growth of housing and communal tariffs (11:00 a.m.).

* Head of the Russian Federal Service for Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Circulation Viktor Cherkesov and Collective Security Treaty Organization Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha will hold a news conference on the topic, The CSTO and the fight against drug trafficking (Interfax; 12:00 p.m.).

* The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will open a center for monitoring and forecasting natural and man-made disasters (2:00 p.m.).

* The 12 Russian sailors arrested in Nigeria in October 2003 and recently released will arrive in Moscow (5:45 a.m.) and hold a news conference (ITAR-TASS, 9:30 a.m.).

* The Presnensky Court of Moscow will consider a lawsuit brought by several ecological and public organizations demanding the revocation of the draft Forest Code from the State Duma.

BAIKONUR

* A Russian Soyuz carrier rocket carrying the first Galileo European communications satellite will be launched.

LENINGRAD REGION

* The first meeting between Russian Father Frost and Santa Claus on the Russian-Estonian border will take place at the Ivangorod border checkpoint (these meetings have been held since 1997 on the Russian-Finnish border).

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