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#11 - JRL 7247
RUSSIANS TO GET ELECTRONIC PASSPORTS

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Starting in 2006, Russians will be able to take out electronic passports, said Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref on Monday.

Speaking at the first session of the inter-governmental commission on information and communications technologies, Gref said that he and the head of the Interior Ministry had jointly asked the Russian president to approve the start of work to develop a single form of such a passport.

"In 2004, the form of the electronic passport will be worked out, and in 2006-2008, it could be adopted in practice," he said.

Electronic passports, which will be plastic cards, are planned to include, apart from information identifying the personality of the citizen, data on his health and social insurance, pension, and other details of his legal status.

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