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MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) — The State Duma has ratified the Russian-Ukrainian agreement on the creation of information and culture centres.
The agreement was signed back in 1998 and was ratified by Ukraine in 1999, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs and relations with compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, said.
“Now this is first of all our debt to Ukraine,” he said.
The Russian government submitted the document to the lower house of parliament for consideration at the end of January.
The agreement stipulates the creation of legal framework for operation of such centres in both countries and favourable conditions for developing and enhancing humanitarian, cultural and historic relations.
The ratification of the agreement will give a fresh impetus “to mutual cultural penetration,” Slutsky said.
“The agreement lays the groundwork for creating new cultural institutions. At present, there are only two such centres in Moscow and Kiev. First of all, the Russian culture centres should appear in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Lvov,” he said.
Slutsky believes that “first of all it is necessary to begin from Lvov, where nationalist moods are on the rise.” “The Russian culture centres will be extremely important there.”
These centres “can become a strong leverage in exerting influence and promoting Russia’s interests, helping work with compatriots and introducing educational programmes on the Russian language,” the parliamentarian said.