Russia wants new international securityApril 22nd, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, April 22 (RIA Novosti) Russia Tuesday said it wants new international agreements on security and disarmament to be concluded. “We intend to press for the drafting of new agreements in the sphere of security and disarmament with other members of the international community,” outgoing President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of ambassadors .
He said Russia is open to broad cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Disputes over existing arms reduction treaties between Russia and NATO have proved a major source of tension in recent years.
“I am convinced that Russia will continue to propose to its foreign partners a highly positive agenda for fruitful discussions and joint work,” he said.
Putin, who is to step down May 7 after his second term in office, said the collective search for solutions to global and regional problems could only be moved forward by taking mutual interests into account.
Arms reduction was an area on which Putin and US President George W. Bush failed to agree at their farewell summit in Sochi earlier this month.
Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty in December 2007, amid concerns over US plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe and NATO’s ongoing expansion. Moscow has said it will resume its participation if NATO countries ratify the document.
A package of measures to allay Russia’s concerns on the treaty was proposed by Washington last fall, and supported by all other NATO members.
A nuclear arms pact, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, was signed by the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union July 31, 1991, five months before the break up the communist republic and remains in force between the US, Russia, and three other ex-Soviet states. The treaty is set to expire Dec 5, 2009.