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    PUTIN TO FORWARD FRADKOV'S CANDIDACY TO DUMA

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    MOSCOW, March 1st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will send a letter to the State Duma (lower house), forwarding the candidacy of Mikhail Fradkov for the prime ministerial post on Monday.

    "Fradkov will be in Moscow tomorrow," the Russian president said at a conference with the acting government, that came after his consultations with the parliamentary majority.

    According to Putin, he expects the State Duma to approve the candidacy.

    The head of state described Fradkov as an honest person and a good administrator.

    "You know that Mikhail Fradkov was a minister of foreign economic ties, worked in the economic sector," said Putin.

    The Russian president demanded that the government members in charge of the administrative reform complete the work together with Fradkov as soon as possible.

    Besides, Putin recalled that Fradkov had been deputy security council secretary and knew the power bloc quite well too. Before he was delegated to Brussels, Fradkov headed the tax police.

    "He has a good experience in combating corruption," said Putin. "His work in Brussels has shown that he is a good, strong administrator and an honest person," he noted.

    At present, Mikhail Fradkov is Russia's Ambassador to the European Union in the ministerial rank.

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