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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: MOSCOW HAS REINFORCED ITS STANDING OF A RESPONSIBLE INTERNATIONAL PLAYER

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    MOSCOW, April 1 - RIA Novosti. In the past four years, Russia has greatly reinforced its standing of a responsible international player, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Kommersant. "It was done thanks to a pragmatic policy that was mostly subordinate to the interests of internal development and development of dialogue and cooperation with the world outside," said the minister.

    "It was within the framework of this policy that Russia and the USA became close allies in the struggle against international terror, the Russia-NATO relations improved considerably, and Russia-EU strategic partnership is developing," Lavrov believes. Moreover, there is no reasonable alternative to this policy today.

    Lavrov recalled that the Russian president had formulated a number of major new goals, in particular, the doubling of GDP within ten years and the creation of a competitive market economy as the basis for ensuring befitting living conditions for the people. Besides, the head of state proclaimed Russia's intention to strengthen the pillars of democracy and civil society.

    "These goals can only be attained on the road of further integration of Russia in the world economy and continued pursuit of a multivectoral policy of promoting mutually beneficial relations with CIS neighbours, the EU, the USA, China, India, Japan, and the countries of Asia, Latin American and other regions," said Sergei Lavrov.

    "This leaves no place for imperial haughtiness, which some people attribute to Russia," the minister believes. "We have the practical experience of protecting national interests without resorting to aggression and confrontation."

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