India, Russia For Preserving Strategic Stability

During their meeting in Delhi Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov emphasised the need to preserve strategic stability and hold extended consultations on the issue to adopt decisions meeting the interests of all countries and not being to the detriment of their security. Ivanov told journalists that Russia and India alike would continue strategic stability consultations. Igor Ivanov called on the international community to take an active part in the debates over the US NMD /national missile defence/ initiatives. The US NMD plans are not merely the subject of the dialogue between Moscow and Washington, they should be discussed at the international level, Ivanov emphasised in Delhi. He also signalled Russia's readiness to hold extended consultations what with the START and NMD problems concerning the entire international community. At the UN General Assembly's session Russia's stance enjoyed the support of most countries, and now Washington has come to the same conclusion. In Ivanov's opinion, it is a promising sign. However, he stressed, "the consultations will be very complex." Proceeding from George W. Bush's statement, the US administration is intent to renounce the 1972 ABM /Antiballistic Missile/ Treaty. The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that no hasty conclusions should be drawn from the statement so far. He added that a group of experts would arrive in Moscow from Washington next week. The consultations will be resumed during his visit to Washington on May 18. Besides, Ivanov said, these issues will be under discussion at the first meeting between the Russian and American leaders. The consultations at issue will make clearer the sides' positions.

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