Russian president outlines Moscow's diplomacy priorities

09:40, July 13, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev outlined on Monday the priorities for Moscow's diplomacy in his speech at the opening of a two-day conference, where the ambassadors and representatives of the Russian Federation gathered, local media reported.

The Russian leader spoke about a number of issues the country's foreign diplomacy must focus on, including arms reduction, nuclear nonproliferation, and cooperation with NATO and former Soviet republics.

The president also urged the attendees to use foreign policy tools for resolving purely domestic problems, such as the country' s modernization program. He ordered the diplomats to draft a list of countries that would be "the most useful" in helping Russia tackle these problems.

According to the president, foreign diplomacy must work for strengthening the civil society institutions at home, and contribute to the improvement of the citizens' well-being and health. He offered to develop democratic standards together with other countries and to involve international elite in this work.

Medvedev listed as another important foreign policy issue the fight against international crimes, in particular terrorism and drug trafficking "that go hand-in-hand with corruption."

"We must work pragmatically, look at the various directions, work openly and refuse confrontation," Medvedev said.

Meanwhile, Russia is against one-sided approach to the anti- missile defense issues, the president told the conference.

"We are against deployment of weapons in space," Medvedev said, adding that Russia would like to keep the necessary level of its defensive capabilities.

As for the relationship between Russia and the United States, Medvedev said the two countries have no right to be satisfied with what has been achieved in bilateral relations.

"The Cold War remains are passing. We have no right to be satisfied with what has been achieved in mutual understanding between such strong powers as Russia and the United States. This is an important and long overdue decision ... We are unanimous by this fact that sustainable development is based on national security. Our approach towards ensuring security coincides. We understand that it is necessary to give up military means. The new START treaty proves this," Medvedev pointed out.

Medvedev also warned that Iran is about to acquire the capability to make nuclear weapons.

He urged Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives to move away from simplistic approaches toward the Iran nuclear issue.

"We need to finally abandon any simplistic approaches toward this problem. Iran is getting closer to possessing the potential that in principle can be used to create nuclear weapons," Medvedev was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

He reiterated Russia's positions that sanctions would not produce the desired results, but Russia will consistently urge Teheran to show essential openness and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Medvedev also spoke about Russia-NATO cooperation on security issues.

"We would like NATO to end its transformation to the modern organization in security sphere. We are ready to participate in equal cooperation with other players, including the post-Soviet Organization for Collective Security," the president said.

He said that Russia should increase its assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eurasian Economic Commonwealth.

"It's not all the same for us where the money we invest goes to, " Medvedev added.

This is the fifth time Russian ambassadors have gathered to discuss the current affairs.

Source: Xinhua


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