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    RUSSIAN VICE PREMIER ON IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE

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    MOSCOW, January 24, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. The economy of knowledge can become Russia's motto in its struggle for a worthy place in world community, Russian Vice Premier Boris Aleshin said at the meeting dedicated to the 249th anniversary of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU) on Saturday.

    The economy of knowledge and "Russia's standing on this way is directly connected with Moscow State University and the Russian Academy of Sciences", the Vice Premier stressed.

    "The state should tend and cherish these 'pearls' and then everything will be all right. We should take a worthy place in the world economy and history, and regain our leading positions," Boris Aleshin noted.

    "Moscow State University is the basis of Russia's prosperity," Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said at the ceremonial meeting.

    On his part, MGU rector Viktor Sadovnichy stressed that "Moscow State University comes out for fundamental education on the basis of modern technologies".

    "The road to our university should be open to talented youth. We shall eliminate all obstacles for these people and shall fight against a serious problem - brain-drain," the rector said.

    In 2005 Moscow State University will celebrate its 250th anniversary. Its history began with Aptekarsky Prikaz (the Apothecary Chancellery) in Red Square. 200 years later the University moved to the Lenin (Sparrow) Hills. The University began with 30 students, three faculties and four professors.

    Today Moscow State University has 16,000 students, more than 2,500 professors and 29 faculties. There are four Nobel Prize laureates among graduates of Moscow State University.

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