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    CULTURE MINISTER SOKOLOV CALLS PRIORITY REACHING REGIONS

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 6 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Reaching regions will be a priority of the Russian Culture Ministry, its head Alexander Sokolov has said.

    "Reaching regions will be at the top of the priorities list," he told the RIA Novosti news conference on Tuesday.

    He said he had studied the ministerial papers and seen the bias towards the two capitals - Moscow and St.Petersburg - and against the provinces. "The disproportion is glaring, though often forced," Sokolov stated.

    As regards interaction with regions, Sokolov said: "For the ministry it is a smooth mechanism, which is not the case for federation entities." He noted that such cooperation can be carried out within the framework of the federal programs Russia's Culture, Patriotic Education of Citizens, Russia's Children.

    "I'd like to make corrections in these programs, for which I'll tour regions and talk to the new governors," Sokolov said.

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