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Premier asks leaders of Russian regions to take personal part in preparing census - 5 October, 2002

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has sent a letter to the leaders of the bodies of executive power of Russia's entities, requesting them to take additional steps to organize the nationwide population census due to begin on October 9.

The RIA Novosti correspondent learned this on Saturday from the Government Information Department.

The letter notes that the forthcoming action is of major importance for Russia, for "there are no analogues to the transformations that have taken place in the country over the past ten years." "The political system has changed, and so has the country's economy and way of life, new social groups have appeared, and serious changes have taken place in the structure and composition of the country's population," noted Kasyanov in his letter.

According to the Government Information Department, the premier stressed that as a result of the census Russia will receive up-to-date information on the country's demographic, social and economic state, and most important information for reforming the country's present-day economic policy.

"This information will make it possible to more clearly pursue the regional and national policy of the state, to fuller take into account the specific features of the territories when drawing up nationwide programs," says the letter.

Kasyanov believes that it is the task of all state bodies of power to guarantee the citizens' unswerving abidance by their constitutional rights, including inviolability of private life. "The state guarantees confidentiality of personal data obtained during the census," stresses the letter.