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    WASHINGTON, February 6. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ -- In Washington Russian and US Senators discussed the state of relations between Russia and the USA. The meetings which were headed from the Russian side by head of the Federation Council's international affairs committee Mkhail Margelov were held on Thursday. The talks with the representatives of the US Senate were earlier put off because of an emergency in the Senate building - the find of weapons of mass destruction there.

    "No asymmetrical threats, even if they have the form of ricin in an envelope, can hamper the cooperation of US and Russian Senators", Margelov stated in an interview with RIA Novosti, commenting on his meetings with leader of the parliamentary majority Bill Frist, with co-chairman of the Senate-Federation Council US-Russian working group Trent Lott, and with other influential Senators.

    According to Margelov, the Senators discussed the current state of Russian-US relations and the joint efforts to fight international terrorism, and highly appraised the recent visit of US State Secretary Colin Powell to Moscow.

    Margelov said that in the conversation the parliamentarians had touched upon the situation around Iraq, and stressed that "America has a stake in Russia's participation in the postwar rehabilitation of Iraq." According to him, in the USA they highly estimate the striving of Russian public non-government organizations and business to take an active part in this process.

    He also noted that the US Senators had expressed the opinion that Russia and the USA must actively and fruitfully cooperate in post Soviet space.

    Further activity and the prime tasks of the Senate-Federation Council US-Russian working group were discussed in the course of the meeting. According to Margelov, the Senators agreed that delegations of both countries must visit each other once a year at the minimum, and the idea of visiting not only the capitals but also regions was voiced.

    Margelov said that "an American delegation, headed by Trent Lott, must come to Russia in the second half of March right after the presidential elections in Russia." His meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage also took place on Thursday.

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