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    BELARUS-RUSSIA: PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY TO DO ALL IT CAN FOR UNION

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    MINSK, MARCH 17 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Belarus-Russia Parliamentary Assembly is determined to spare no efforts for a bilateral union, Boris Gryzlov, Speaker of the Assembly and the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, said to a news conference to sum up the 24th Assembly session.

    "Belarus and Russia will have a union. That is my deep conviction, and the Parliamentary Assembly will do all it can for the goal," said Mr. Gryzlov, who is sure parliamentarians have an impact on the pace of union state emergence.

    Meanwhile, integration efforts are too slow in certain fields. The situation demands an working group set up for every implementation aspect of the bilateral union treaty. The parliamentary leader hopes such groups will pace up decision-making and related practical action.

    Integration blueprints include a total 86 items, of which only 61 have been implemented, wholly or partly, for today, he said.

    "The Parliamentary Assembly must work to make the unification process irreversible, and help the two Presidents as the union state is getting on its feet," Mr. Gryzlov stressed. He described the session as "timely and essential to step up union efforts." The session settled certain organizational issues, approved Boris Gryzlov's appointment as Assembly Speaker, and passed this year's union budget in an initial reading.

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