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Russia's Upper House Approves Prosecutor-General --> Chaika (left) with President Putin (file photo) (epa) June 23, 2006 -- Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has approved Yury Chaika as the country's new prosecutor-general.

Chaika, who had served as justice minister since 1999, was nominated to the post by President Vladimir Putin. The Federation Council voted 147-1 to back his nomination.

Chaika told the upper house that he would make a strong effort to combat corruption among prosecutors and prevent them from taking sides in business conflicts.

"As a person who has devoted nearly 30 years to prosecution and investigative work and has been through all the ranks, I believe that any revolutionary steps aimed at improving its performance are absolutely unacceptable," Chaika told lawmakers. " What we need is evolution, not revolution."

"I would think it's necessary to focus our main efforts on the six main areas,"Chaika added. "These are the human rights function of the prosecutor's office, support for the implementation of priority national projects, enhancing the coordination of the law enforcement agencies in fighting crime, and strengthening legality during investigations and inquiries, fighting corruption, deepening international legal cooperation, and conducting a policy of transparency and openness in the activities of the prosecutor's offices."

Chaika replaces Vladimir Ustinov, who in a surprise move earlier this month resigned as prosecutor-general after six years in the job.

(Interfax, ITAR-TASS)

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