ABOUT MUSES AND GUNS AGAIN

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ABOUT MUSES AND GUNS AGAIN

Trud, March 28, 2003, EV

President Vladimir Putin has met with Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi. According to the presidential PR department, Shvydkot informed the president about events which have already taken place or are being planned as part of the Year of Russia in Ukraine. He also reported that the culture ministries of Ukraine and Russia have approved a plan for a Russian Art Festival in Ukraine.

The Year of Kazakhstan in Russia was mentioned as well.

Shvydkoi also told Putin that he has written to UNESCO Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura, expressing the hope that during the war in Iraq UNESCO will take the necessary measures to save such valuable historical and cultural items as the complex of Ancient Babylon, Mesopotamian artefacts, and cuneiform texts located on Iraqi territory.

VESHNYAKOV IN OFFICE

Trud, March 28, 2003, EV

The first organizational meeting of the new staff of the Central Election Commission (CEC) has taken place. This meeting was devoted to electing its authorities. Alexander Veshnyakov was reelected as CEC chairman in a secret ballot. Members of the CEC consider that there is no alternative to Veshnyakov.

Oleg Velyashev was elected deputy chairman. He used to head the legal department of the CEC secretariat. Olga Zastrozhnaya, former deputy chairwoman, has been elected secretary of the CEC.

The new staff of the CEC consists of 15 people: five each from the president, the Duma, and the Federation Council. Alexander Voloshin, head of the Presidential Administration, who also attended the meeting, expressed the hope that CEC members would “ensure the unbiased operation of election commissions”. He said: “There is a difficult year in store for you. I hope you will help us avert the use of dirty propaganda tricks.”

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