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    WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 3, 2004? (RIA Novosti correspondent Vassily Voropayev) -- Ricin detection in the office of Bill Frist, the leader of the Republican majority in the US Senate, has caused Mikhail Margelov, the head of the Federation Council international affairs committee, to hold scheduled meetings with American senators beyond the confines of the Capitol Hill.

    Margelov assumed that his conference with Trent Lott, an American co-chairman of the Senate-Council group would take place in the city, in one of the offices.

    Though some personnel came to the Capitol Hill on Tuesday, nobody worked there, said Margelov.

    "I don't think it was an act of terrorism," continued Margelov. "This is no way of harming a definite person, the more so as politicians of this rank rarely open the envelopes by themselves - this is the job of the office staff." Ricin was discovered in Bill Frist's office on the fourth floor of the Dirksen building, where his mail is processed. Admission to the building has been prohibited since this incident.

    Ricin is a strong poison with no anti-dope. In case ricin powder is inhaled by a human being, the latter will die within 36-48 hours.

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