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EU, Russia Discuss European Missile Defense


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged his Russian counterpart not to carry out a threat to deploy tactical missiles in Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.

Mr. Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev spoke Friday after a Russia-European Union summit in the French city of Nice. France currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Mr. Medvedev last week said Russia will put missiles in the Kaliningrad region if the United States implements plans to place a missile defense system in central Europe. He later said he will cancel the deployment if the U.S. scraps missile plans for Poland and the Czech Republic.

U.S. officials say their planned system will defend against an Iranian threat.

On other issues, the French and Russian presidents reported reaching consensus on the global financial crisis. Both men will join other world leaders in Washington Friday evening for the G-20 summit.

The French president also said he wants to lay the foundation for a new European security accord, possibly at an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting in mid-2009.

Mr. Sarkozy said Russia had to a large part complied with a French-brokered cease-fire that halted fighting after Russian troops swept into Georgia in August.

EU officials froze ties with Russia in response, but the bloc agreed this week to resume talks on a strategic partnership agreement.

But the union maintains its view that Russia's violation of Georgia's territorial integrity is unacceptable and it continues to reject Russia's recognition of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.


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


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