VARIOUS: Russian President Vladimir Putin warns U.S. that Russia may quit Cold War arms treaty, as U.S....
- Title: VARIOUS: Russian President Vladimir Putin warns U.S. that Russia may quit Cold War arms treaty, as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledges to continue missile defence talks
- Date: 12th October 2007
- Summary: (W3) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 12, 2007) (REUTERS) (CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES AND OTHER OFFICIALS ENTERING ROOM MEMBERS OF MEDIA MEMBERS OF U.S. AND RUSSIAN DELEGATIONS GETTING SEATED RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV ADDRESSES US DELEGATION WIDE OF TALKS RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV ADDRESSES US DELEGATION U.S. DELEGATION AT TALKS U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE ADDRESSING RUSSIAN DELEGATION WIDE OF TALKS
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- Story Text: Russian President Vladimir Putin warns the U.S. that Russia may quit a Cold War arms treaty, as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledges to continue talks over missile defence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the United States on Friday (October 12) that Russia may quit a Cold War treaty on intermediate missiles if it is not expanded to impose arms restrictions on other states.
Putin used the start of talks with U.S. Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to say the U.S.-Russian treaty's restrictions were leaving Moscow unable to respond to military build-ups in countries near its borders.
Russia has already alarmed some in the West by saying it will suspend compliance with another Cold War treaty on conventional forces in Europe later this year.
"We need other international participants to assume the same obligations which have been assumed by the Russian Federation and the U.S," said Putin, who met Rice and Gates at his residence just outside Moscow.
Putin said it would be difficult for Russia to keep within the framework of the treaty if weapons systems are being developed by nearby countries.
He did not specify which treaty he was talking about, but appeared to be referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). That treaty was signed in 1987 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S.
President Ronald Reagan.
Russian officials have said in the past they may review the treaty because of concerns about growing arsenals in countries on its eastern and southern flanks, including Iran, India and Pakistan.
Putin also urged Washington not to rush ahead with a U.S. plan to locate elements of a planned missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia says the shield will threaten its security.
Rice and Gates spoke to Putin before starting "2+2" talks with their Russian counterparts, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. The talks are aimed at airing differences over the missile shield. The ministers are also expected to touch on disagreements over Iran.
Putin, who does not support Western calls for a new round of United Nations sanctions on Iran, heads to Tehran next week where he will meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In opening remarks at the meeting with Putin, Rice said she was hopeful the two-day talks could narrow differences.
"The president promised, and we are here to act upon the promise, that we would try and find ways to co-operate for the common good," she said, referring to a U.S. commitment given earlier this year by U.S. President George W. Bush.
Following the "2+2" meeting in Moscow, Rice said the U.S.
would continue talks with Russia on deploying its missile shield in eastern Europe. Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov maintained that Russia could not accept the current plan because of its "anti-Russian potential."
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- Embargoed:27th October 2007 13:00