Russia to push new European security deal at UN

September 23rd, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 23 (RIA Novosti) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will promote the idea of a new European security treaty this week when he attends the UN General Assembly. The General Assembly’s annual ministerial session opens Tuesday amid uncertainty over the global economic outlook, continuing violence in the Middle East, concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme and the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Apart from a general meeting with foreign ministers from the 27-member European Union (EU) to discuss Russia-EU relations, Lavrov will hold about a dozen bilateral meetings with the presidents of Cyprus and Philippines, and his counterparts from Albania, Norway, Bolivia, Spain, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Syria.

Prior to his arrival in New York, the Russian foreign minister made a stopover Monday in Ireland where he met with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and Foreign Minister Michael Martin to discuss Russia-EU relations and European security.

Following talks with his Irish counterpart, Lavrov said Moscow hoped that the United States and Canada would take part in the preparation of a new European security treaty.

“Russia’s stance is that the United States and Canada should become part of this process,” he said.

The idea of holding an all-European summit and drawing up a new legally binding European security treaty was put forward by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in June.

Medvedev said at the time that all European states should be party to such a treaty “not as states associated into blocs and alliances, but as sovereign entities.”

He said any new security arrangements should be based on “pure” national interests, not skewed by ideological motives, while “organizations operating in the Euro-Atlantic region” should also have the opportunity to join.

Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the United States of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security and nuclear deterrence.

The interceptors and the radar are parts of a US missile defence system against possible strikes from what Washington calls “rogue states”.

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