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    STATE DUMA SPEAKER TO MEET BELARUSSIAN PRESIDENT

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 17, 2004 -RIA Novosti. Russian State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov will meet Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko within the framework of the 24th session of the Russia-Belarus Union's Parliamentary Assembly being held in Minsk. The session of the Parliamentary Assembly's council will also be held on Wednesday.

    According to Gryzlov, the session will discuss the Union state's draft budget for 2004 in the first reading.

    It has been determined according to revenues which account for 2,621.1 million Russian roubles (1 euro is equal to 35 roubles) - payments of states-participants will make up 2,462 million roubles, and revenues in the form of payment for the use of budget credits given earlier - 188.1 million roubles.

    In addition, the parliamentarians are expected to resolve organisational issues because the Russian delegation includes many new deputies, Gryzlov said. In particular commissions will be formed and their heads determined, he added.

    In the course of the session's plenary meetings decisions will be made on the chairman and deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly. The press service of the Assembly reported that the Belarussian side believed it expedient to nominate Gryzlov to the post of the Partiamentary Assembly's chairman.

    The participants in the session will also discuss issues which are the "pain points" in relations between their countries. Gryzlov pointed out that "the discussion of these issues by parliamentarians is the most suitable form to remove these "pain points"

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