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BBC Monitoring
Return of Yeltsin to CIS scene - TV shows Russian leader thanking him
Source: Russian Public TV (ORT), Moscow, in Russian 1200 gmt 30 Nov 01

[Correspondent] Opening today's plenary meeting of the CIS leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that the commonwealth has lived through ten difficult years which saw both success and mistakes... Putin has especially stressed that a new market with a new division of labour has emerged in the CIS.

[Putin] We cannot help seeing that our citizens are not only convinced that a common labour market is functioning in the CIS, but they are also actively - on Russia's example I can confirm this 100 per cent - are actively working on this market...

[Correspondent] At the end of the meeting a solemn ceremony took place to award the first president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, with the Order for Services to the Fatherland, First Degree.

[Putin] I think this is right and symbolic that it is in this particular surrounding that we are decorating the man who has done so much for the CIS to be set up and gain strength...

[Yeltsin] This is the first decade. This was the most difficult stretch of the road the CIS has covered. This was the time when each state was building its independence.

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