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    MOSCOW, January 22nd, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Oleg Osipov) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has met Governor of the Krasnodar territory (in the south of European Russia, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea) Alexander Tkachev.

    The president began the meeting by expressing the hope that "political events [upcoming gubernatorial elections and elections of several mayors] will be well organised, and the contest will be honest." When touching upon the social and economic development of the region, Tkachev said that the Krasnodar territory was rated among the top five regions of the country in terms of gross regional product.

    "We receive $600 million of investment annually and are ranking third," said Tkachev.

    The president asked about animal husbandry development in the area. Tkachev said that animal products in the region had increased from 5 to 10% in 2003.

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