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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: SIBERIA AND RUSSIA'S FAR EAST ARE NOT THREATENED BY TIDE OF IMMIGRATION

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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Sergey Zelentsov) -- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov does not think that Siberia and in Russia's Far East are threayened with the tide of immigration.

    "I cannot agree with the conjectures about certain foreign threats for Russia in the east, about a purposeful "de-Russification from the outside of Russia's Siberia and Far East. Such searches for 'a foreign enemy' signifies, as a matter of fact, to put the responsibility for our own mistakes on others and to justify inactivity and inefficiency," points out Igor Ivanov in his article "Russia in Asia and Asia in Russia", which was published on the web site of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    He says that a tough competition is going on in the economic community in the Asia and Pacific region (APR). And each state in this competition resorts to all kinds of political, financial and economic methods to ensure its commercial interests.

    "Such is the reality in which we have to work. There is no alternative. It would be impossible to overcome economic and social problems of Russia's eastern regions without forming a favourable outside environment, the "rules of the game" advantageous for us, and without an active participation in the regional economic integration," the Russian Foreign Minister underscores.

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