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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY WELCOMES STATE DUMA'S RATIFICATION OF RUSSIAN-ROMANIAN BASIC TREATY

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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The State Duma's ratification of the Russian-Romanian Treaty on friendship and cooperation opens broad possibilities for the development of both countries, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Aleksander Yakovenko said on Wednesday.

    In particular, Moscow and Bucharest will be able to expand interaction on the problems of European and international security, the fight against terrorism and organized crime, crisis and conflict settlement, Mr. Yakovenko noted.

    According to him, the treaty "lays down the legal foundations of political, economic, and humanitarian relations between our countries." The Russian State Duma ratified the Treaty on January 23rd by an overwhelming majority of votes. "This shows that both the executive and legislative authorities are disposed to overall development of Russian-Romanian relations," Mr. Yakovenko said.

    The State Duma of the new convocation considered the ratification in the very beginning of its activities, he stressed.

    "We believe that now we should actively put the provisions of the Treaty into practice," the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

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