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    LONDON, January 16, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Smotrov) - A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) intends to visit Russia during the March presidential elections, David Atkinson, the head of the PACE monitoring committee and a member of the British House of Commons, told RIA Novosti.

    Mr. Atkinson said that he hopes the delegation will be able to observe the presidential elections at the request of the Russian Federation, which PACE expects, in the very near future.

    According to Mr. Atkinson, 30 assembly members and 5-6 other officials will participate in the mission. The PACE observers will work in within a larger 400 person group which is mostly comprised of OBSE personnel.

    In contrast to the Duma elections, Mr. Atkinson will not head the monitoring committee. German Rudolf Bindig will lead the monitoring committee.

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