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    PUTIN MEETS KARACHAI-CERKASSIAN PRESIDENT

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    MOSCOW, February 20th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Oleg Osipov) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a working meeting with Karachai-Cerkassian (a republic in the North Caucasus) President Mustafa Batiyev.

    The Russian president asked him about the results of the republic's development in the past year, and about further priorities.

    Batieyv noted that inter-ethnic accord and tranquillity had been achieved in the republic. "A professional government has been formed, and the republic has entered a good phase of development," said the head of the republic.

    According to Batiyev, the year was fruitful. At the same time, he continued, there are a series of problems that cannot be solved without the federal centre's assistance.

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