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    PUTIN, NAZARBAYEV TO OPEN YEAR OF RUSSIA IN KAZAKHSTAN

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 9, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI). Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev will take part in the ceremony of opening the Year of Russia in Kazakhstan on Friday in Astana.

    The Russian President will pay an official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan on January 9-10.

    The source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti that Russian-Kazakh relations are developing consistently and dynamically, and that the successful holding of the Year of Kazakhstan in Russia greatly contributed to this.

    In late December, Vladimir Putin signed an instruction on holding the Year of Russia in Kazakhstan in 2004.

    On December 22, Vladimir Putin stressed at the meeting with members of the Cabinet of Ministers that Kazakhstan is a close ally of Russia. "In many areas, our relations are developing not only intensively and at a high level but are truly of a strategic nature," the President pointed out.

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