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    MOSCOW, January 5, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed acting Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to account regularly for the work of the ministry until the interior minister is officially appointed.

    "How is the ministry working? You perform your duties, and I am asking you to be vigilant. The department is very important and big. Before the minister is officially appointed, I am asking you to report regularly about the work of the ministry," the Russian president said, as opening the first 2004 traditional conference with the cabinet in the Kremlin.

    Previous Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov (appointed on March 28th, 2001) was elected to the State Duma on December 7th, 2003 and appointed Speaker of the lower house.

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