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    GEORGIA, RUSSIA WELCOME EMERGENCE OF NOVOSTI-GEORGIA AGENCY

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    TBILISI, February 29, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze has forwarded a telegram to the Novosti-Georgia news agency, congratulating it on signing a cooperation agreement with Russia's RIA Novosti agency.

    "With all my heart I welcome the emergence of the Novosti-Georgia agency and praise your work and contribution to the development of democracy in Georgia," reads the telegram. "The news media are known to play a crucial role in molding public opinion. Your activities are furthermore important as they will allow the Georgian and Russian nations to receive full and unbiased information on developments in this country," said Ms Burdzhanadze.

    Novosti-Georgia and RIA Novosti signed the agreement on cooperation in information exchanges at a ceremony at the Russian embassy to Georgia on Saturday. The goal behind the project is to provide full and prompt information on developments in Georgia and Russia.

    The agencies have created a web site, where they will publish prompt information on events in Georgia in Russian and on Russian developments in Georgian (www.newsgeorgia.ru and www.newsgeorgia.ge).

    Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Novosti-Georgia yesterday.

    "I believe it very important that your news will be published in Russian and Georgian. This will help Russians learn more about life in Georgia and tell the Georgian public about the processes under way in Russia," reads the Russian president's telegram.

    "I am positive, your agency's work will promote friendly relations between our countries and peoples. It will also promote business cooperation, interesting innovations and projects," said the Russian leader.

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