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    STATE DUMA DID NOT BACK PROPOSAL TO INVITE RUSSIA'S DEFENCE MINISTER TO "GOVERNMENT HOUR"

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    MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma did not back the proposal to invite Russia's Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov to the "government hour" on April 28. Member of the Rodina faction of the parliament's lower chamber Nikolai Pavlov advanced such proposal at the plenary meeting on Wednesday.

    As many as 137 deputies voted for his proposal, and 47 - against it, with no abstentions, the necessary number of votes to adopt the proposal being 226.

    Nikolai Pavlov explained the necessity to invite the Defence Minister to the State Duma by the situation relating to NATO's expansion eastward, as well as by Mr. Ivanov's statements on that score. In this connection the deputy proposed that the lower chamber hear out the report by Mr. Ivanov behind closed doors and put questions to him.

    For their part, the representatives of the parliamentary defence committee informed the State Duma of the fact that representatives of the General Staff had been invited to the nearest meeting of the committee and will speak on this issue.

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