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    MOSCOW, ST. PETE ARE FRIENDS, NOT RIVALS-FEDERAL PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Sergei Mironov, Speaker of the Federation Council, or Russia's upper house of parliament, has said he can see no points of disagreement between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    "Three centuries ago, Muscovites set out northward to build a new capital; now the reverse has taken place: Petersburg residents have come to Moscow to build a new Russia. The relations between these two largest Russian cities are very friendly indeed," Mironov said at a meeting with a New Zealand parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Jonathan Hunt, the Federation Council press service reports. The meeting was held in the leadup to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and New Zealand.

    Mironov commented on the relations between Moscow and St. Petersburg in reply to a question from a New Zealand MP wondering if the situation in Russia is the same as in his home country, where there is rivalry between the main two cities, Wellington, the capital, and Auckland.

    The New Zealanders are to make a trip to St. Petersburg within their current Russian tour.

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