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    NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin received in his Moscow region residence Russian prime ministerial candidate Mikhail Fradkov.

    The consideration by the State Duma (Parliament's lower house) of the new candidate for the post of the prime minister is scheduled for Friday, March 5th.

    The Russian President asked Mr. Fradkov for his proposals on the structure of the new government.

    "I know that you held meetings with some ministers of the old government, primarily with those, who recently worked on the new structure of the cabinet. I would like to know your opinion on the conducted work and to hear your proposals on the structure of the new cabinet," Mr. Putin said.

    Mr. Fradkov informed the Russian President on the consultations he held in the State Duma. The consultations were held immediately after his arrival from Brussels, where he used to occupy the post of the permanent Russian representative to the EU.

    "I believe that I had serious, interesting and very useful talks," Mr. Fradkov said in response to the President's question.

    "The deputies took great interest in topical issues in the economic as well as in the social spheres. They expressed their ideas on how to organize the cabinet in order to activate the work and to fulfill the tasks set in the President's State of the Nation Address - doubling of GDP and fight against poverty," Mr. Fradkov said.

    According to Mr. Fradkov, his meeting with the State Duma faction United Russia lasted for more than an hour. "Cordially speaking, I became more confident," he said having added that his readiness to chair the government increased after these talks.

    Vladimir Putin in his turn expressed hope for the constructive interaction between the Parliament and the new cabinet of ministers.

    "I hope it would be a good start for the constructive cooperation between the Parliament and the new government," the Russian President said.

    As journalists noted the President's meeting with the prime ministerial candidate was held in the daytime - the time when the President traditionally receives the Prime Minister.

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