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    PUTIN: RUSSIA TO PROMOTE NATIONAL INTERESTS

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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia will promote its national interests in international affairs and avoid aggression or confrontation at any cost.

    "We will be flexible and seek partnership. We will try to find a compromise for us and our partners," Mr. Putin told reporters who gathered at his campaign headquarters last night.

    Mr. Putin sees the goal of Russia's foreign policy not in demonstrating imperial ambitions but in securing favorable external conditions for Russia's development.

    "There is nothing unusual here, and we will shape a many-vector foreign policy. We will work with the United States, the European Union, and certain European countries. We will cooperate with our Asian partners, China, India and Asia-Pacific countries," said Mr. Putin.

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