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Russian Parliamentarians Visit Congress

March 7, 1994 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A group of Russian parliamentarians led by lower house speaker Ivan Rybkin visited Congress Monday in the first of planned exchanges between U.S. and Russian lawmakers.

Rybkin and four committee chairmen of the State Duma met with House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash. Rybkin faces at least eight factions in the 444-seat State Duma, compared to the two parties that make up the 435-seat U.S. House of Representatives.

Foley, who in past years hosted delegations of Soviet parliamentarians in a more-formal atmosphere, said the lawmakers were discussing ″matters of mutual interest.″

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Topics in closed-door meetings, according to congressional aides, include the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with Russia and other former Soviet and Soviet-dominated states as new partners.

Foley told the group he looked forward to a possible trip to Russia next year.

In addition to Rybkin, the Russian lawmakers included Vladimir Lukin, former ambassador to the United States and now chairman of the Duma’s international affairs committee; Sergei Glazyev, chairman of the economic policy committee; Sergei Yuschenkov, chairman of the defense committee, and Mikhail Zadornov, chairman of the budget, taxation, banking and finance committee.

The group scheduled three days of meetings with several other congressional and administration leaders.