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    RUSSIA'S NEW FOREIGN MINISTER FLYING TO NEW YORK CITY

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 9, RIA NOVOSTI - Sergei Lavrov, Russia's newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, is flying to New York City, tomorrow, to finish his previous mission as Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, as diplomatic routine requires, says Alexander Yakovenko, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.

    Mr. Lavrov is to see Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, and diplomatic corps members, and intends to be back to Moscow, March 16.

    Mikhail Fradkov, Russia's newly appointed Prime Minister, introduced Sergei Lavrov as Foreign Minister to the ministerial board and other personnel today, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press and information department.

    He referred to the new minister as "top-notch professional, and a self-made diplomat who knew the work of Russian federal bodies inside out while on his previous jobs at the Foreign Ministry". Igor Ivanov, his predecessor on the post, attended the introduction ceremony.

    President Vladimir Putin appointed Sergei Lavrov Minister of Foreign Affairs with today's decree. Igor Ivanov was appointed federal Security Council Secretary.

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