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    The Russian Information Agency Novosti begins Hotline coverage for Friday, January 16, 2004.

    RIA Novosti correspondents report:


    * Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov will hold talks with his Belarus counterpart Sergei Sidorski, who will arrive in Moscow with a fleeting working visit.

    * Mikhail Kasyanov will appear at the first plenary session of the State Duma of the 4th convocation. In his speech in the lower chamber of parliament the premier will explain the priorities in the program of the country's socio-economic development.

    * Army General Mukhtar Altynbaev, Defence Minister of Kazakhstan, will come to Moscow with on an official visit.

    * The press conference Coordination of Principles of Space Cooperation on the Ground Launch Project between the joint venture Sea Launch and the company International Space Services will be held.

    * A press conference of Metropolitan Ciril, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Archbishop Arsenius, Vicar of the Moscow Bishopric, on the 2nd national church exhibition Orthodox Russia will be held.


    * Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will arrive in Novosibirsk.


    * Russian Education Minister Vladimir Filippov will participate in the national conference On Improving and Reforming Economic Relations in the Education System.


    * Events on the 60th anniversary of full lifting of the 900-day blockade of Leningrad by Hitlerite troops will begin.


    * The Day of the Russian Federation will be held at the international agricultural exhibition Green Week. Russian Vice-Premier and Agricultural Minister Alexei Gordeev will participate in the opening ceremony of the Russian pavilion.

    RIA Novosti holds a full copyright for all its published materials. Upon any republication of RIA Novosti materials reference to RIA Novosti is mandatory.

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