The chairman of the Duma Geopolitics Committee said February 1 that the committee’s energies will be devoted primarily to Balkan and Kurdish issues, China’s relations with Taiwan, the two Koreas, and the Caucasus region. Aleksei Mitrofanov told a news conference that resolution of these problems "directly concerns Russia’s strategic interests." He said the committee would conduct assessments of these regional problems and that his LDPR faction was prepared to participate directly in their resolution. Mitrofanov pointed specifically to the unification of the two Koreas, whose respective leaders he said were on equally good terms with the LDPR. He said Russia should seek a "united and strong Korea as a counterbalance to Japan in the Far East." (11)
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