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    IGOR IVANOV: RELATIONS WITH CIS STATES - A PRIORITY IN RUSSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY

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    NOVOSIBIRSK, January 16. (RIA Novosti-Siberia.) Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov does not see an alternative to the CIS on the territory of the former Soviet Union. He told journalists about this in Novosibirsk on Friday.

    The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in the minister's opinion, does not copy any of the existing integration organisations. Moreover, Russia is also actively working within the framework of other integration unions.

    There is evident progress in relations among the CIS states, although there are some exceptions, the foreign minister noted. According to him, this issue was discussed during his meeting with plenipotentiary representative of the Russian President in the Siberian Federal District Leonid Drachevsky.

    Quite a number of questions which "we inherited from the past" were resolved over the past year, Ivanov said.

    "The development of relations with the CIS states is a priority in Russia's foreign policy," the minister stressed.

    Ivanov also said that here the emphasis is made on economic cooperation, the settlement of migration issues, as well as preserving the language and distinctive culture of Russians residing in the CIS countries.

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