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Putin Calls for Emergency Meeting on Major European Arms Treaty


Putin Calls for Emergency Meeting on Major European Arms Treaty

Putin Calls for Emergency Meeting on Major European Arms Treaty

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an emergency meeting on the future of a major Cold War arms treaty.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow says Mr. Putin is asking all signatories to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty to meet in Vienna on June 12.

The deal was first signed in 1990 to limit the number of non-nuclear weapons in Europe. It was amended in 1999, but some NATO nations are refusing to ratify the new version until Moscow pulls its troops out of Georgia and Moldova.

Moscow says the issue has nothing to do with the treaty. It has also suspended its adherence to the pact to protest U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, the White House says Mr. Putin and President Bush spoke about several issues in a telephone conversation Monday.

A spokesman said they stressed the importance of a continued dialogue and say they look forward to meeting at next week's Groups of Eight summit in Germany.

U.S. Russian relations have been strained recently over Washington's plans for the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic and also U.S. support for supervised independence for Kosovo, the majority ethnic Albanian province of Serbia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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