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    STATE DUMA CALLS FOR STRENGTHENING BROTHERLY RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA, UKRAINE

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    MOSCOW, January 23, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ - The State Duma has adopted an address to people of Russia and Ukraine on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of Pereyaslav Rada ("Rada" means "council" in Ukrainian). The corresponding decree was passed at the Friday plenary session of the Russian parliament's lower chamber.

    With the necessary minimum of 226 votes, the address was adopted by 400 votes, with two against and one abstained.

    The address points out that the Pereyaslav Rada adopted the historic decision of reuniting Ukraine with Russia. After that the two nations started to develop comprehensive relations, that were mutually enriching for the cultures, sciences and other historic values of the two states, deputies emphasize.

    The reunion strengthened the basis of the Slavic civilization.

    "Our friendship has passed hard trials, the many-century yoke of serfdom, reforms, revolutions, civil and patriotic wars, famine and postwar devastation, restoration of the economy, consequences of the personality cult, breakup of the great power," the address reads.

    The Russian and Ukrainian people acted together to protect and restore their country and achieved outstanding results in science and technology, culture and arts, Russian MPs underline.

    The State Duma calls people of Russia and Ukraine to build mutual relations carefully. Fulfillment of this goal is dictated by time, it is a natural continuation of the many-century friendship and great common history of the two nations, the document points out.

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