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    RUSSIAN EX MINISTERS COMMENT ON GOVERNMENT'S DISCHARGE

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    MOSCOW, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin and Education Minister Vladimir Filippov learned about the government's discharge from journalists.

    As soon as they appeared in the hall where the joint session of the Russian State Council's Presidium and Security Council was to take place, journalists surrounded them, asking what they thought about the government's discharge and if they hoped to preserve their posts in the future Cabinet.

    "I have just learned about it," Aleshin said. "No one has told me anything, I have been busy preparing for the event [the joint session]".

    Filippov also said that he had learned about the discharge from journalists and did not consider it "possible to comment on my possible work in the future Cabinet".

    Tax and Levies Minister Gennady Bukayev said that he had learned about the President's decision at his office and assessed it as "positive".

    "He [Vladimir Putin] is head of state and this is his right," Bukayev pointed out.

    When asked about his attitude to the government's discharge, Health Minister Yuri Shevchenko told journalists, "a positive, a very good attitude".

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