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    RUSSIA-USA: LEGISLATIVE PARTNERSHIP UNDER DISCUSSION

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 27, RIA NOVOSTI - Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Speaker Boris Gryzlov of the State Duma, Russia's lower parliamentary house, met at the conference table in Moscow today to discuss bilateral legislative partnership, report Duma PR.

    Mr. Gryzlov highlighted the Duma-US Congress-a team representing several Russian parliamentary groups. He pointed out the efficiency of present-day Russian-US interparliamentary contacts, and said he expected them to go on. The Speaker asked the State Secretary to pass his invitation to the Congress top to visit Russia within the year.

    Mr. Powell, in his turn, thanked Boris Gryzlov for an invitation to the State Duma for negotiations with parliamentary spokesmen, following top-level conferences in the Kremlin.

    The Russian economic situation was prominent on the agenda - in particular, promotion of small and medium-scale enterprise, market liberalisation, fiscal policies, intellectual property protection, and combat against slave traffic.

    The State Duma intends to ratify, within its spring session, the UN convention against transnational crime, said Boris Gryzlov. Colin Powell was enthusiastic about the news.

    The conference left both assured that friendly and constructive relations which recently emerged between Russia and the United States will make further progress.

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