State Duma Deputy Speaker Calls for Russia-NATO "20" Meeting

Deputy Speaker of the Russian State Duma Vladimir Lukin announced at a RIA Novosti press conference on Tuesday that he believed it would be expedient if Moscow proposed a meeting of the Russia-Nato "20" immediately after the UN inspectors make their second report on Iraq to the UN Security Council on February 14th.

In his opinion, this meeting could be held in Moscow or St. Petersburg. "It could be held anywhere else, but it would be more convenient in Russia," than the USA or Europe, Lukin said.

He suggested that at the meeting the sides could "very seriously work to find a solution to this problem (the situation surrounding Iraq)." The deputy speaker said that Russia, in the light of recently emerging differences between Nato members over Iraq, felt freer, as it had no obligations within the alliance.

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