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Medvedev Questions U.S. On Iran, Central Asia


U.S. military planes on the tarmac at the Manas air base in April 2010.

U.S. military planes on the tarmac at the Manas air base in April 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said in a wide-ranging interview with "The Wall Street Journal" that says his country and the United States should "act collectively" to convince Iran to return to international talks on its nuclear program and also cast doubt on the future of the U.S. military presence in Central Asia.

Medvedev complained about additional sanctions against Iran imposed by the United States and European Union just after Russia backed fresh UN sanctions last week. He said the United States had nothing to lose by imposing a fourth round of sanctions, as it has no ties with Iran, unlike Russia and China.

He also questioned the permanence of the U.S. military facility in Kyrgyzstan, where ethnic violence has followed the recent ouster of a president and both the United States and Russia have military bases.

The U.S. facility at Manas is a crucial link to international military operations in nearby Afghanistan.

He was quoted as saying about whether the U.S. base is a permanent installation: "That's a question for discussion."

based on RFE/RL and Reuters reports
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