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    MOSCOW, January 5th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Polina Kalabukhova) - The new wording of the law On Foreigners puts in question the reliability of Estonian partners and will be heeded by Russia, official spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti.

    On the New Year eve, the Estonian president enacted the amendments approved by the parliament, which deprive the Russian retired officers living in Estonia and their family members of the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence permit in this republic. The law On Foreigners was adopted at a time in a package with an agreement to pull out Russian servicemen from Estonia and on terms of their temporary stay on its territory.

    According to the Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Moscow considers this law as a fundamental document of bilateral relations and sees its amendment by the Estonian side "as an evidence of Tallinn's unwillingness to meet its obligations in full." "The Russian side has already stated that it saw these amendments as being at loggerheads with the current agreement on social guarantees to pensioners of the Russian Armed Forces on Estonian territory, dating from July 26, 1994, Yakovenko added. In his words, substantiation to this effect has repeatedly been presented to the Estonian authorities but to no avail.

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