EU, Russia call for restraint over missile row

November 14th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Nice (France), Nov 14 (DPA) Russia and the US should both refrain from siting any new weapons systems in Europe before a major summit of European and North American powers in June or July 2009, the French and Russian presidents said Friday.The 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should meet in June or July 2009, and “until then, please let’s have no more talk about the deployment of missiles or anti-missile protection systems,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy, current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, said.

“Before a global agreement (on European security), we should all refrain from unilateral steps that affect security in Europe,” his guest at the EU-Russia summit in French city of Nice, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, agreed.

Over the last year, Russia has repeatedly expressed outrage at US plans to site an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

On Nov 5, Medvedev threatened that Russia would site missiles in its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, across the border with Poland and Lithuania, if the US plans went ahead.

But in recent months, he has also called for “new security architecture” in Europe that would set legal limits on the use of force across the continent.

In October, Sarkozy said the idea was worth discussing, and that the OSCE, whose members include Russia, the US, Canada and European states, should discuss it in late 2009.

But the two presidents Friday “agreed that we don’t need to wait until the end of 2009, we can do it in middle of the year on the basis of the OSCE”, Medvedev said.

The EU, NATO and the Moscow-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) should also attend the summit, he said.

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