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    RUSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOPES FOR STATE DUMA'S SUPPORT

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    MOSCOW, February 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov hopes for the State Duma deputies' support in the provision of Russia's foreign policy interests.

    We need cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities to solve the key problems of foreign policy, the Russian Foreign Minister told journalists following his meeting with members of the State Duma international committee on Thursday.

    "We shall maintain permanent dialogue on all issues. This does not mean that there will be no criticism. I believe State Duma deputies will express criticism, as well," the minister said.

    "However, this criticism should be aimed at the consolidation of Russia's positions on the international scene and at the creation of favorable conditions to continue reforms in Russia," Igor Ivanov noted.

    On his part, head of the international committee Konstantin Kosachev said that the meeting was constructive. "Formerly the State Duma opposed to Russia's foreign policy and tried to call the Foreign Ministry to account. This time the discussion was constructive," Kosachev noted.

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