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    MOSCOW, March 9, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma international affairs committee, has approved ex-foreign minister Igor Ivanov's appointment as Security Council Secretary and Sergei Lavrov's appointment as Russian Foreign Minister.

    In an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Mr Kosachev described Mr Ivanov's candidacy for the post of Security Council Secretary as "ideal." "No offence meant for the ex-secretary, but the council has somewhat dwindled amid other government agencies. It has grown unclaimed, especially when crucial decisions had to be adopted in a number of events," said the MP.

    Besides, the Security Council has addressed strategic, rather than tactical issues, added Mr Kosachev.

    Mr Ivanov will have a new, far broader and more responsible scope of work, noted the MP.

    When Foreign Minister, Mr Ivanov dealt with issues related to Russia's military, economic and information security, i.e. what falls within the Security Council's jurisdiction.

    As to Sergei Lavrov, Mr Kosachev said he had been Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, i.e. performed foreign ministerial duties, tackling all Russia-related political issues at the UN.

    Mr Kosachev believes Mr Lavrov will carry on Russia's foreign political course in his new capacity. The advent of the new foreign minister will not cause "pauses" in the ministry's work, said the MP.

    Moreover, the succession of the Russian foreign policy will be preserved with his advent, emphasised Mr Kosachev.

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