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Putin Unconvinced By U.S. On Missile-Defense System --> Putin listens to a journalist's question in Vienna today (AFP) May 23, 2007 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says consultations with the United States have failed to change Moscow's opposition to a proposed missile-defense system in Europe.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna, Putin said Russia sees the proposed missile-defense system as "an absolutely harmful thing."

The United States has proposed placing components of the system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin is in Austria for an official visit.

Putin also said that Russia is ready for what he called a constructive dialogue with Poland on the possible resumption of Polish meat imports to Russia.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna, Putin said Russia is "looking for solutions" to the dispute.

Poland has said it will veto a Russia-European Union partnership agreement unless Russia lifts the ban on Polish imports.

(Reuters, Interfax)

Russia And The West


COOPERATION, CONFLICT, CONFRONTATION: Relations between Russia and the West are notoriously volatile. "To see the kind of relationship that presidents Bush and Putin have developed and to see Russia firmly anchored in the West, that's really a dream of 300 years, not just of the post-Cold War era," then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in May 2002.
But observers have increasingly called into question the extent of the shared values between Russia and the West, particularly on issues relating to the transformations going on in other former Soviet countries.


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