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    UNITED RUSSIA TO APPROVE FRADKOV'S CANDIDACY

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    MOSCOW, March 2nd, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The United Russia faction will unanimously vote for Mikhail Fradkov's candidacy for premiership on March 5th, said Speaker of the Duma and leader of the United Russia faction Boris Gryzlov.

    "Having heard Mr. Fradkov's answers to the questions describing his view on Russia's further development, we have decided to support his candidacy unanimously," he said after Mr. Fradkov's meeting with United Russia deputies.

    Mr. Gryzlov also noted that Mr. Fradkov "is not only a reformer but also a creator." Everything he did earlier when he worked at different leading posts testifies that he has the qualities of a reformer and a creator.

    Mr. Gryzlov emphasized that during the meeting, Mr. Fradkov gave exhaustive answers to questions about poverty, the fight against corruption, his vision on the GDP doubling issue and the modernization of the armed forces.

    "We believe that as the government leader, Mr. Fradkov will be capable of addressing these tasks," stressed Mr. Gryzlov.

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