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    BAGHDAD, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Pavel Davydov) - Russian language and literature experts from Iraq expressed gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin for his assistance in the restoration of the Russian language department's library at Baghdad University.

    An open letter signed by the dean of the foreign language department of Baghdad University was sent to Mr. Putin.

    Baghdad University has already received some Russian literature and books on the Russian language. The rest of the books that have been collected in Russia will be delivered to Baghdad in the near future.

    Last September, Iraqi scholars asked Mr. Putin to help them restore the Russian language library. It was destroyed in the first days of chaos after the American invasion in Baghdad on April 9, 2003.

    The Russian language department at Baghdad University was founded in 1958. It is the oldest and largest Russian language department in the Middle East.

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