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    KUCHMA CONGRATULATES PUTIN ON ELECTION VICTORY

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    NOVO-OGAREVO, MARCH 17 (RIA NOVOSTI) - In his Novo-Ogarevo residence Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who arrived in Moscow on a working visit on Wednesday.

    The Ukrainian president is the first foreign visitor to be received by Putin after his victory in the presidential election.

    During the meeting, Leonid Kuchma one more time congratulated Vladimir Putin on the victory. It "makes it possible, without caution and wasting time on minor questions, to handle strategic issues of Russia's development." The election victory also makes it possible to "handle foreign policy issues," Kuchma added.

    "I wish Russia success," said the Ukrainian president. "The more success Russia has, the easier and simpler it is for us. These are not mere words, it's reality," Kuchma stressed.

    The Ukrainian president criticized those who often change partners: "He who often looks around only stands to lose."

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