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    MOSCOW

    * A session of the Russian government will be held (10:00 a.m.). The cabinet will discuss preliminary results of the implementation of the president's state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly and other issues.

    * The Russian Foreign Ministry and state-owned Vneshekonombank (VEB) will sign a cooperation agreement (1:00 p.m.). Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the signing.

    * The Russian Association of Lawyers will hold a constituent congress at the Column Hall of the House of Unions. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chairman of the Russian Audit Chamber Sergei Stepashin will attend (3:00 p.m. - final news conference).

    * The Federal Agency for Construction, Housing, and Communal Services will host a session on the implementation of the Housing federal target program for 2002-2010 (11:00 a.m., December 22-23).

    * The Federation Council (parliament's upper house) will host:

    - an inter-regional conference on a legislative initiative on short-range aviation in Russia (10:00 a.m.);

    - hearings on state property management (3:00 p.m.).

    * The State Duma (parliament's lower house) will host a council session (10:00 a.m.).

    * Interfax news agency will host the following news conferences:

    - with Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev on the results of the agro-industrial complex's activities in 2005, plans for 2006, and the implementation of national projects in the agricultural sphere (3:00 p.m.);

    - with commander-in-chief of the Russian Interior Ministry's troops Colonel-General Nikolai Rogozhkin on the troops' reform and their role in maintaining law and order in the North Caucasus (11:00 a.m.).

    * Ukrainian charge d'affaires Leonid Osavolyuk will give a news conference at the Ukrainian embassy (11:30 a.m.).

    * Ingushetia's President Murat Zyazikov will give a news conference on the North Caucasus republic's accession to the Assembly of European Regions, the results of 2005, and prospects for 2006 (12:00 p.m.).

    * The information center of the central executive committee of the United Russia party will host a news conference on the results of the year and plans for 2006 (12:00 a.m.).

    * RIA Novosti will host the following news conferences:

    - on the topic "New Year without black caviar", focusing on the World Wildlife Fund's campaign to preserve sturgeons (11:00 a.m.);

    - on Russian Muslims' participation in the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) (11:00 a.m.);

    - on the topic "Bird flu: Russia creates a unique medicine against the epidemic" (12:00 p.m.).

    * Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources Oleg Mitvol will give a news conference on the pollution of the Amur River near Khabarovsk in Russia's Far East, the results of the service's work in 2005, and plans for 2006 (1:00 p.m.).

    * The news agency AIF-Novosti will host a news conference on the results of the political year in Russia and Ukraine (12:30 p.m.).

    * The board of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold a session on the chamber's participation in priority national projects (3:00 p.m.).

    GORNO-ALTAISK

    * The legislation of the Altai Territory (central Siberia) will consider Alexander Berdnikov's candidacy to the post of the republic's governor. Berdnikov, the federal inspector for the Altai Territory, was nominated by President Vladimir Putin.

    MINSK

    * Russian Transportation Minister Igor Levitin will pay a working visit to Minsk. He will attend a session of the coordination commission for the formation of the unified transport system of the Russia-Belarus Union, and chair a session of the Transportation Policy Council of the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community.

    KIEV

    * Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will hold a session on natural gas supplies to the country.

    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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