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Schroeder honoured with top academic post

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been elected to the foreign section of Russia's Academy of Sciences, which specialises in foreign relations. A close ally of Vladimir Putin, Schroeder is one of several new names joining the prestigious body.

Thirteen scientists from the U.S, France, Italy, China, Ukraine and Finland were elected during a meeting at its headquarters in Moscow.

Russia's Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, greeted the new members  with a speech in which he said that the government plans to invest 600 billion roubles ($US 25.2 billion) into Russian science.

Nano and biotechnologies, along with atomic energy and space exploration, are the areas Russian scientists will be concentrating on in the coming years.