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MOSCOW, December 26 (Itar-Tass) — The students of the Russian State University of Trade and Economics (known for its Russian acronym of RGTEU), who are on strike in protest against the University's being linked up to the G. V. Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, have barricaded entreances to the Univeristy, pending the arrival of new leadership. A decision to this effect was taken late on Tuesday night at a meeting of the strike headquarters. The turnstiles at the entrances are blocked with a pile of chairs and desks.
Albert Zaripov, a member of the student council of RGTEU, has told Itar-Tass that this is done to prevent provocations. One entranceway, the main one, will be open so far, he said. A new head of the University -- acting Rector Andrei Shklyayev -- is planning to arrive at the University on Wednesday morning. Zaripov pointed out that a decision as to whether to allow him to enter the University "will be taken collectively on the spot". Most of students, as before, are in favour of a continuation of the protest action, Zaruoiv added.
Andrei Gara, press secretary of the University, told Itar-Tass earlier, "Actions by the Ministry of Education and Science only encouraged us. We are remaining on strike. The faculty members and srudents are staying out together. We have not yet met acting Rector Andrei Shklyayev. We shall hold an urgent meeting of the collective at 09:00 on Wednesday in view of the obtaining situation". A decision as to whether the university staff would interact with Shklyayev "will be also made by the collective", the press secretary said.
It has become known that RGTEU Rector Sergei Baburin has been relieved of his duties by an order issued by the Ministry of Education and Science. The University students have been on strike since last week in protest at making RGTEU a part of the Russian University of Economics. Students say the strike will be unlimited in duration. If need be, they will celebrate the New Year inside the University and will go ahead with their protest action untils the RGTEU reorganization order is cancelled and Baburin is reinstated as Rector.