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    RUSSIA'S CHIEF RABBI BERL LAZAR CONGRATULATES PUTIN ON HIS REELECTION

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    MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar (the Federation of Jewish Communities) congratulated Vladimir Putin on behalf of Russia's Jews on his reelection to the second presidential term. Berl Lazar highly assessed the first four years of Putin's presidency.

    "I am convinced that voting for Putin Russians did justice to the real results of his first presidential term," Berl Lazar told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

    "Life in Russia has become better, calmer and safer," he said.

    "Jews have become equal and respected citizens of a multiethnic state during Putin's first term and felt help and support for the solution of their problems," Russia's chief rabbi stressed.

    "Jewish communities were formed in many towns, synagogues, Jewish centers, charity canteens, schools and kindergartens were open. Much has been done to revive Jewish life," Berl Lazar noted.

    He hopes for Russia's further progress during Putin's second term.

    "I pray to God to give the President extra forces to work for the welfare of Russia and its people," Berl Lazar concluded.

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