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    SENATORS SUPPORT FRADKOV'S CANDIDACY

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    MOSCOW, March 1st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The Federation Council supports Mikhail Fradkov's candidacy forwarded by the Russian president.

    According to Deputy Speaker of the Upper House Alexander Torshin, by forwarding Fradkov's candidacy, the president has staked upon experienced professionals in state administration.

    "Fradkov's working experience is respectable, it is a serious school that enriched him with good knowledge of economic issues and the key issues of international activity," said Torshin.

    In his words, Mikhail Fradkov is in no way a dogmatic, but a pragmatic realist who is experienced in running large organizations." "I'd like to note that he has worked with the parliament, and am sure that the Federation Council's relationship with the new prime minister will be constructive," said the Federation Council's deputy speaker.

    The first deputy chairman of the Federation Council's industrial committee, Sergei Shatirov, told RIA Novosti that the main aspect of Mikhail Fradkov's candidacy was his "lack of any engagements with any financial and industrial groups or clans." In his opinion, Fradkov understands the most important thing - Russia's economy needs huge investment. "He knows the investment component and what our industry needs as part of a thorough revision," said Shatirov.

    According to Senator Valery Goreglyad, Fradkov's candidacy signifies that the new government would focus on Russia's further integration into the world economy.

    "Mikhail Fradkov's working experience inspires confidence that he is a real professional who knows various economic aspects, including in such fundamental spheres as taxes, trade and international economic relations," said Goreglyad.

    Chairman of the Constitutional Committee, Senator Yuri Sharandin noted that he saw Mikhail Fradkin's candidacy as "an interim option." "The president has taken a break to think things over, and it is possible that Russia will have a new prime minister after a while," said Sharandin.

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