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    KYRGYZSTAN EXTENDS VALIDITY OF SOVIET PASSPORTS BY SIX MONTHS

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    BISHKEK, January 22 (RIA Novosti correspondent Yulia Orlova) - The government of Kyrgyzstan has extended the validity of Soviet passports of the 1974 model in the republic till July 1, 2004, the government's press service reports on Thursday.

    The decree applies not only for the republic's citizens who have not changed their passports yet, but also to citizens of other CIS member states where Soviet documents are still valid.

    According to RIA Novosti information, Kyrgyzstan has less than 10 percent of citizens who still have not exchanged Soviet passports to passports of sovereign Kyrgyzstan. At first the country's authorities intended to complete passport exchange by January 1, 2003, but since then they have repeatedly extended the deadline.

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