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Sanctions against countries violating nuclear rules may backfire, Russia warns UN

21 September 2006, UN News Center - Calling for the "systematic strengthening" of nuclear non-proliferation measures, the Russian Federation also warned the United Nations General Assembly today that applying sanctions to violator countries "without calculating their consequences might bring unpredictable results."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Assembly's annual debate that it is "absolutely necessary to eliminate the loopholes in the non-proliferation regime, but this should be done through clear and non-discriminatory approaches without creating grounds for suspicions regarding [the] existence of some hidden agenda."

Mr. Lavrov said Moscow was confident that practical solutions could be found to resolve non-proliferation issues in a "non-confrontational manner," recognizing that countries are entitled to legitimate access to the benefits of peaceful atomic energy.

He cited President Vladimir Putin's initiative to set up Multilateral Centres for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Services, similar ideas from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and like-minded proposals from United States President George W. Bush as examples of how to chart a way forward in disputes.

Mr. Lavrov also welcomed the "current purposeful steps in search of negotiated solutions" to the current international stand-off over Iran's nuclear programme and the row over the announced withdrawal by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

In his address the Russian Foreign Minister took up the broader issue of collective international action, saying the biggest challenges facing the world today highlight the need for countries to work together, through the UN and other bodies, to achieve solutions.

"An answer to global challenges and threats can only be found collectively," he said.

... Payvand News - 9/22/06 ... --

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