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    MARCH 1 MORNING PREVIEW

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    MOSCOW

    * The Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) will host a roundtable on the excise taxation on oil products (10.00).

    * The State Duma (lower house) will host:

    - parliamentary hearings on the formation of the legislative basis providing advanced development of information and communication technologies (14.00);

    - a session of the public council for innovation activities and intellectual property (14.00).

    * Moscow will host the annual forum of the all-Russia public small and medium-sized business organization OPORA ROSSII (Russia's Support) on the topic "Competitiveness and small business". Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref will be attending (10.30).

    * The 2nd international forum "Information technologies in the development strategy of Russian companies" (March 1-3) will open in Moscow. It is organized by the Adam Smith Institute (UK).

    * Moscow will host a press conference entitled "March 1 is the international day of civil defense. The participation of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in international humanitarian projects of the UN and European Union" (12.00).

    * The Russian Information Agency Novosti will host the following press conferences:

    - "On referendums on the return to direct gubernatorial elections" and prospects for the formation of a united democratic party (11.00);

    - "The first IPO in the Russian agricultural sector" as part of the Moscow phase of the investment road show of the open joint stock company Altai Bread which plans to place its shares on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange and the Russian Trading System. The date of the placement and prices of shares will be announced at the press conference (11.00).

    - on the signing of the cooperation agreement between the Federation of CIS Jewish Communities and the US Jewish Congress scheduled for March 1, 2005 (15.00);

    - on the topic "The MEDIAKRATIA contest as a career start for young journalists" (15.00).

    * The Mercury Club will hold a session on the topic "Social responsibility of businessmen: the challenge of the time and practical actions. Charity work as an important aspect of the business social activity" (17.30).

    * The Institute of Nutrition will hold a roundtable at the Central House of Journalists. It will focus on the problems of immunity, eutrophy, healthy way of life and sports and immunity consolidation of the younger generation (10.00).

    * The Federation of CIS Jewish Communities and the US Jewish Congress will sign a cooperation agreement at the Moscow Center of Jewish Communities (12.00).

    * The first session of the human rights commission under the Mayor of Moscow will be held.

    SOCHI

    * Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu will participate in the conference entitled "The results of the ten-year activities of the Southern regional rescue and search unit of the Emergencies Ministry and development prospects of the Southern regional center of the Emergencies Ministry" (March 1-2).

    ROSTOV-ON-DON

    * The hearings of the so-called Ulman case will be resumed at the North Caucasian district military court. Four officers of the main reconnaissance department are charged with killing six Chechen civilians.

    ASTANA (KAZAKHSTAN)

    * The Caspian Pipeline Consortium will hold a session on the enlargement of the pipeline system.

    LONDON

    * Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will participate in a session of the quartet of international intermediaries for the Mideastern settlement (Russia, the US, EU and UN) as part of the conference on the Palestinian issue. The US delegation will be headed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    DELHI

    * A delegation of the Russian Audit Chamber led by its chairman, President of the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI) Sergei Stepashin, will arrive in India on an official visit.

    AMMAN

    * The 4th Russian industrial exhibition will open in the capital of Jordan. Those participating will be about 70 Russian state-run and private companies working in different spheres of industry, agriculture and tourism. A conference entitled "Russia-Jordan-Iraq: ways of economic cooperation" will be held as part of the exhibition.

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