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    RUSSIA-BELARUS: PREMIERS TO MEET WITHIN MONTH

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 2, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov is willing to meet Sergei Sidorsky, his Belarussian counterpart, quite soon-possibly, even within the month, he said to the media.

    Russia remains willing to go on negotiating with Belarus on prospective unified currency, even though Belarussian provisos rule out the Russian rouble introduced in the neighbouring country next year, as blueprints have it.

    "We offered Belarus a loan with which it can settle all problems to shift to a united currency. Belarus asked more than we were offering, and came out with many provisos and a package of additional agreements. If it don't give up its demands, rouble introduction in that country next year will be out of the question," said Mr. Fradkov.

    He talked to President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus on two occasions since he was appointed Russia's Prime Minister a month ago, he added.

    "We shall work on for bilateral contacts. There are complicated problems setting us apart-but contacts with Belarus, our neighbour, promote Russian interests, so these contacts are among Russia's top priorities," stressed the federal Premier.

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