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Dalai Lama Arrives in Southern Russia's Buddhist Region - 2004-11-29

The Dalai Lama has arrived in Russia's Buddhist region of Kalmykia.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, on his first trip to Russia in more than 12 years, arrived in the southern Russian town of Elista Monday.

China has criticized Moscow over its decision to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Saturday said Beijing did not approve of any country allowing the Dalai Lama to - in his words - "engage in separatist activities."

Russian officials on Friday said they issued the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa with the expectation he would not engage in any political activities. Moscow has rejected visa requests for the Dalai Lama at least three times in the past.

Russia is home to about one million Buddhists.