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    US CONGRESSMAN TO VISIT MOSCOW APRIL 12

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    WASHINGTON, APRIL 3, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI) - Congressman Tom Lantos (Ca.), who co-authored a recent House resolution on suspending Russia's G8 membership, is to arrive in Moscow on April 12.

    Talking to RIA Novosti, Mr. Lantos noted that he intended to meet Russian politicians in Moscow, explaining his position on Russia's G8 membership.

    Previously, Mr. Lantos said he was not satisfied with Russian-Iranian cooperation in the nuclear field; nor is he very happy about the fact that Russian federal authorities allegedly control electronic mass media bodies.

    Tom Lantos is to complete his Moscow visit on April 14, his spokesperson said.

    The House committee on international affairs passed its resolution No. 336, which suggests suspending Russia's G8 membership, on Wednesday, March 31.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 1 that the proposal of House members to expel Russia from the G8 amounted to election campaign games. I don't think all this is very serious, Mr. Lavrov noted. This is largely linked with home-policy games during the election campaign, he added.

    Talking to RIA Novosti, Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council's foreign-affairs committee, noted that the idea of expelling Russia from the G8 was something far-fetched. The afore-said resolution is akin to grumbling; and it's an open secret that grumblers heed no arguments, Mr. Margelov stressed. Still it would be appropriate to note that Russia became a G8 member because that club would be incomplete without it, and not because someone wanted this to happen, Mr. Margelov added.

    Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma's foreign-affairs committee, referred to resolution No. 336 as a Cold War relic.

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