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Russian deputy PM warns against potential new Cold War
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11:13, February 11, 2008

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Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday that Western nations should abandon their ideological prejudice against Russia which might trigger a new round of Cold War.

"It is time we should decisively abandon all approaches that have long divided our world on ideological grounds," Ivanov told a group of high-profile diplomats at a key security conference in the southern German city of Munich.

Ivanov underlined that some nations, long with "double standards" against Russia, have the potential to "return to the containment policy."

"Some states strive to exploit antiterrorist activities as a pretext to achieve their own geopolitical and economic goals," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday the United States and NATO are igniting a "new arms race" by planning to establish the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"It is clear that a new arms race has been unleashed in the world," Putin said, "It is not our fault, because we did not start it."

The United States has agreed to integrate a planned U.S. anti-ballistic missile shield in eastern Europe with NATO's own short- and medium-range missile defense system, but a formal decision is not expected until a NATO summit in 2009.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Saturday told the Munich meeting that the planned missile defense system will not possibly pose any threat to Russia.

Washington claims the missile defense system can cover most of the European allies, except Turkey and parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.

Some 300 diplomats, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, attended the annual three-day meeting, due to close later on Sunday, to discuss the world's most thorny issues.

Source: Xinhua

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