Russian Culture Minister Declares Interest In Creating Ukrainian Lobby In Russia

The Russian government is interested in creating a Ukrainian lobby in Russia, said Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi on Saturday at the opening of the All-Russian Congress of Ukrainians. Commenting on the need for Russia-Ukraine rapprochement, Shvydkoi expressed the opinion that "it is hard to divide our cultures, and it is absolutely unnecessary to live in separation." "Our strength lies in the Ukrainian roots and the words 'Kievan Rus' should bring closer our peoples," believes the minister. He recalled that on November 29, 2001 the Year of Ukraine in Russia was opened at the Kremlin Palace. In the opinion of Mikhail Shvydkoi, "many changes are being made to the culture and psychology of both our peoples." "Today we have to get things clear so that everything in our countries is in place -- the economy, culture, etc," observed Shvydkoi.

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