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    The Russian Information Agency Novosti begins Hotline coverage for Thursday, April 8, 2004.


    * Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who is in Moscow on a routine visit.

    Mr. Scheffer will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, and Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov.

    Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will hold a press conference on Russia-NATO partnership.

    * A government session will take place at 10 a.m. It will be chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. The agenda includes the discussion of the following things: measures to complete in 2004-2005 the tax reform; draft federal laws aimed at perfecting Russia's legislation on taxes and dues; the issue of coordinating and consultative bodies under the Russian government; the issue on the activity of the Russian parts of intergovernmental commissions.

    * The Russian interior ministry will host a press conference with the top officials of the Main Department for Combating Economic Crimes of the Russian Interior Ministry's Federal Service on Economic and Tax Crimes "On the results of the Alcohol 2004 operation." Problems of state control in the sphere of production and turnover of ethyl alcohol and alcohol beverages will be discussed.

    * The Russian economic development and trade ministry will host a press conference of deputy minister Muhamed Tsikanov "Issues of private property on forests. Legal regulation of water and forest facilities."

    The Russian information agency Novosti will host press conferences with:

    - Alexander Yakovenko, Russian foreign ministry official spokesman, on urgent issues of international policy;

    - Andrei Isayev, chairman of the State Duma committee for labor and social policy, deputy chairman of the Federation of Russia's Independent Trade Unions "The guidelines of social policy".

    * An international conference "Liberal program for the new century: global view" will start its work. The Cato Institute (USA), the Economic Analysis Institute (Russia) and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (employers) organized the event.

    * The Izvestia newspaper's media center will host a round table "Problem 2008. Who will be the president's successor? Forecasts, estimates, opinions." Valery Khomyakov, chairman of the National Strategy Council, Sergei Markov, director of the Political Studies Institute, and Maksim Dianov, director general of the Regional Problems Institute will participate.

    * The Moscow city court will announce the verdict on the case of Zarema Mushakhoyeva who tried to commit an act of terrorism in summer 2003 in downtown Moscow.


    * A conference "Russia's gas market - the regional aspect" will start its work. The Russian Gas Association, Uraltransgaz company and Neftegazovaya Vertikal magazine organized the event under the aegis of the Russian president's permanent mission in the Urals Federal District and Gazprom public company. The conference will close on April 9.


    * A third joint conference of the Council of foreign ministers, the Coordination council of prosecutors general, the Council of interior ministers, the Council of security and secret services heads, the Council of border troops commanders, the Coordination Council of tax (fiscal) investigation bodies' chiefs, and the Council of customs services of the CIS countries will be held.

    * Azeri Defense Minister Safar Abiyev will start his routine visit to Ukraine.


    * Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), will arrive in Armenia on a working visit. He will stay there until April 10.


    * Days of Russian Culture will start in Tajikistan, to last until April 12.


    * A session of the interdepartmental Russo-Indian working group on the fight against terrorism will be held. An interdepartmental delegation from Russia headed by deputy foreign minister Anatoly Safonov has arrived in New Delhi to participate in it.

    RIA Novosti holds a full copyright for all its published materials. Upon any republication of RIA Novosti materials reference to RIA Novosti is mandatory.

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