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    The Russian Information Agency Novosti begins Hotline coverage for Friday, March 5, 2004.


    * The State Duma, parliament's lower house, has a plenary session, debates on Mikhail Fradkov's prime-ministerial nomination to dominate the agenda.

    * The State Duma hosts a news conference on, "Scholars' Role in the Activities of the 4th Convocation State Duma. Establishment of an Intergroup Association, Science and High Technologies". MP Jaures Alferov, 2000 Nobel Prize winner for physics, will take part.

    * Presidential hopeful Ivan Rybkin addresses a news conference.

    * Two roundtables, "Energy-Saving Technologies as Basis of Steady Progress of the Russian Fuel-and-Power Complex" and "Fuel Market Liberalisation" gather within a national energy forum, The Russian Fuel-and-Energy Complex in the 21st Century.

    * The Zamoskvoretsky district court has hearings on Ivan Rybkin's suit against the Centre TV company, which has refused to telecast his pre-election clips.

    * A Belarussian Culture Year in Russia opens with a State Kremlin Palace gala.


    * A 4th Mariinsky international ballet festival opens to last into March 14. This is Russia's only classical ballet festival to attract leading dancers of the world's foremost companies.


    * The Franco-Russian Cooperation Council holds its 3rd session on security problems. Representing Russia will be Igor Ivanov, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sergei Ivanov, acting Minister of Defence; the host country-their counterparts Dominique de Villepin and Michelle Alliot-Mari.


    * Another round of bilateral negotiations on Russia joining the World Trade Organisation is on. Maxim Medvedev, Russian delegation head and Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, will meet in consultations with Stephen Johannesson, chief of an ad hoc team on Russia joining the WTO.


    * President Boris Trajkovski of Macedonia will be interred. He died in an air crash of February 26. Representatives of the top ruling bodies of fifty countries, Russia among them, will attend the funeral.

    RIA Novosti holds a full copyright for all its published materials. Upon any republication of RIA Novosti materials reference to RIA Novosti is mandatory.

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