Putin calls for new international security, disarmament deals

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Moscow, Apr 22 (UNI) Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin today urged the world community to work out new international agreements on security and disarmament.

''We intend to press for drafting of new agreements in the sphere of security and disarmament with other members of the international community,'' Putin said addressing a meeting of the foreign ambassadors.

He said Russia was open to broad cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect on this issue.

''I am convinced that Russia will continue to propose to its foreign partners a highly positive agenda for fruitful discussions and joint work,'' he said.

Mr Putin is scheduled to hand over power to President-elect Dmitry Medvedev on May 7 following which he is expected to be approved as the Prime Minister by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on May 8.

The president said the collective search for solutions to global and regional problems could only be moved forward by taking mutual interests into account.

His remarks come as disputes over existing arms reduction treaties between Russia and NATO became a major source of tension in the recent years.

Both Russia and the US failed to reach any breakthrough on arms reduction at their farewell summit in Sochi earlier this month.

Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the Conventional Forces in the Europe treaty in December 2007, amid concerns over the US plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe and NATO's ongoing expansion.

Russia has said it will resume its participation if NATO countries ratify the document.

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