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    DUMA PERPLEXED AT U.S. CONGRESS' RESOLUTION TO SUSPEND RUSSIA'S MEMBERSHIP IN G8

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 1, 2004, (RIA NOVOSTI). - The International Affairs Committee in the State Duma, or the lower Russian parliamentary chamber, is perplexed at the U.S. Congress resolution No. 336 calling upon President George W. Bush to suspend Russia's membership in the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations, Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Duma committee, told RIA Novosti. The resolution was adopted Wednesday by the Committee on International Relations in the House of Representatives.

    According to Kosachev, the architects of the resolution cite Russia's alleged violations of some democratic principles. His committee sees this document as a Cold War relic, which by no means reflects the official position of the U.S. Administration on the political situation in this country and its status in the world arena.

    The Russian MPs are surprised that their counterparts in the U.S. Congress misinterpret the G8's international mission and of the criteria of membership in that alliance, Kosachev said. The necessity of Russia's participation arises from the responsibility that this country takes upon itself in dealing with global problems of the modern day, above all international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he explained. Which is why the other G8 member states are equally interested in teaming up with Russia against common threats and challenges.

    We hope the adoption of the resolution will remain just an episode in our bilateral relationships with the United States and will not adversely affect their climate, the Russian lawmaker emphasized.

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