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    SERGEI LAVROV'S APPOINTMENT AS FOREIGN MINISTER TO ENSURE CONTINUITY OF RUSSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY - FEDOTOV

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 9. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russian deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov believes that with the appointment of Sergei Lavrov as the foreign minister Russia's foreign policy will not change.

    "This decision is optimal and ensures the continuity of the foreign policy, consistency in upholding Russia's priorities", Fedotov said in a RIA Novosti interview.

    Yuri Fedotov oversees cooperation with international organisations, above all the United Nations.

    "What has been done by Igor Ivanov, and earlier by Yevgeni Primakov, has made it possible in no simple conditions to increase Russia's prestige, confirm the high esteem for the Russian Foreign Ministry", he believes.

    In this connection, Lavrov's appointment as the foreign minister is "a sign of confidence from the president to career diplomats, people grown in the Foreign Ministry".

    "Lavrov is one of the best diplomats, an excellent specialist in the field of versatile diplomacy. He is an excellent negotiator who can uphold own positions with great tact, understanding as far as it is possible the arguments of the other side", Fedotov said.

    As regards the human qualities of the new foreign minister, Fedotov believes that both diplomats and journalists will work well with him.

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