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    US STATE SECRETARY POSITIVELY ASSESSES RUSSIAN-US RELATIONS

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    WASHINGTON, January 26 (RIA Novosti correspondent Arkady Orlov) - US Secretary of State, Colin Powell made a positive assessment of Russian-US relations.

    We have a good relationship with Russia, and we cooperate in many fields, Powell stressed in an interview with the CNN TV company in Tbilisi. The shorthand record of the interview was circulated by the Department of State in Washington.

    The NATO-Russia Council operates effectively. We hold strategic talks with the Russians on quite a number of questions, the US Secretary of State noted.

    Much good has been taking place in Russian-US relations, and we hold talks and exchange views in the fields where questions arise. President Putin and president Bush maintain good, stable relations, he said.

    Colin Powell also stressed that the USA views Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a president who is very popular in his country and has re-established a certain degree of order.

    Powell rejected the assertions about manifestations of "totalitarian" tendencies in Russia, saying that such a term does not suit as applied to the Russian situation.

    Controlled democracy can be democracy. We want to make sure that it has been moving in a correct direction, the State Secretary said.

    Colin Powell arrived in Moscow on a visit on Sunday.

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