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Russia Against Nuclear Proliferation Ultimatums

Putin (left) with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Russian Foreign Ministry today (epa) June 27, 2006 -- President Vladimir Putin says Russia will not add its name to any ultimatums about nuclear proliferation.

In an apparent reference to U.S.-led pressure over Iran, he said ultimatums would "only push the situation into a dead end" and strike "a blow against the authority of the UN Security Council."

In a wide-ranging speech to Russian diplomats in Moscow on June 27, Putin called for a strengthening of Russia's role in global affairs.

He said relations between the United States and Russia should be based "exclusively on equality and mutual respect."

He also called for a start to negotiations on a new weapons reduction treaty, to take the place of the START treaty due to expire in 2009.

He said relations with former Soviet republics should be pragmatic and based on market principles.

He also said regional conflicts should be settled using universal principles, in Kosovo as well as in Georgia's breakaway republics or in the Moldovan separatist region of Transdniester.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Russia Report

RFE/RL Russia Report

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