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    Government cuts back on culture spending

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    MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Budget funding of culture and mass communications has been cut, the deputy culture minister said after a ministry board session Monday.

    "Sixty-two percent of the federal targeted program, Russian Culture, has only been allocated for two facilities, the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Theaters [two major opera and ballet theaters in St. Petersburg and Moscow]," Leonid Nadirov said.

    The ministry called the budget insufficient.

    Nadirov also said the Culture Ministry had drafted major lines of the government policy in culture and mass communications, something that has been worked over many times already.

    "There have already been 24 versions of it and there will be more to follow," Nadirov said.

    He declined to detail the results, but offered a glimpse of what the document foresees.

    "The first item on the agenda is on preserving cultural heritage as the basis of the Russian nation. You can see it does not contain the word 'multinational.' It is time to give up Soviet formulas," Nadirov said.

    The fourth point in the "cultural constitution" outlines the freedom of speech and a single information space.

    "We are to report to the government about major goals and how they can be achieved. We are calling on the public, and journalists to join the discussions," Nadirov said.

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