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    ASTANA, January 10th, 2004 (RIA Novosti's Alisher Niyazov) -- Russian Railways Minister Vadim Morozov wants the rail fares of Russia and Kazakhstan to be harmonised along with their macroeconomic development.

    The minister is accompanying President Vladimir Putin on a two-day official visit to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, in Central Asia.

    Commenting to reporters on the Kazakh President's earlier appeal to speed up the process of harmonising the rail fares, Morozov said this would be unrealistic until the two nations overcame the gap in their economic development.

    "We are in the process of construction. We shall not make abrupt moves as they will upset the balance between Russia's constituent parts. Other indicators should be considered, not just the rail fares," remarked the Russian Railways Minister.

    The rail fares will be possible to harmonise only after Kazakhstan catches up with Russia in macroeconomic terms, Morozov pointed out. He said that the problem went beyond the railways system and had to be addressed at the government level.

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