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    FEDERATION COUNCIL SPEAKER BACKS PRESIDENT'S DECISION

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    MOSCOW, February 24th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Federation Council (upper house) Speaker Sergei Mironov has declared his support for the Russian president's decision to dismiss the government.

    "The government has not fully implemented the president's policy," Mironov said in his comments on the president's decision.

    He pointed out another aspect. "The new prime minister will have to present not only the cabinet but also a new government structure to the president. The apparatus does not reform itself, as is well known," noted Mironov.

    The head of state announced the dismissal on Tuesday and signed a decree to the effect.

    The president has appointed Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko acting prime minister.

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