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Russia Calls For International Front Against Terrorism

Russian Defense Minister Ivanov (R) with President Vladimir Putin (file photo) (epa) MUNICH, Germany, 5 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told an international security conference in Munich on 5 February that Russia believes there is an urgent need for an international front against international terrorism under the aegis of the United Nations.

Ivanov said such an organization should press the international community and individual countries to remove loopholes in international law and domestic legislation that allow terrorists and their allies to operate.

He said the United Nations should also eliminate what he called "double standards" when evaluating the terrorist threat.

He said attacks on military forces in Iraq were defined as terrorism while similar actions by militants in Russia were frequently presented as a struggle by the Chechen people for freedom and independence.

The Russian defense minister also criticized Western governments for delaying the ratification of a treaty on conventional forces in Europe.

The West has said it will not ratify the treaty, which was agreed in Istanbul in 1990 and amended in 1999, until Russia fulfils its commitment to withdraw its military forces from Georgia and Moldova's breakaway province of Transdniester.

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