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Russian President Again Calls for New Europe-wide Security Pact

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has repeated his calls for a new comprehensive European security pact while again criticizing NATO exercises underway in Georgia.

In excerpts of an interview with Russian state television broadcast Friday, Mr. Medvedev said NATO expansion had created new divisions in Europe. He then repeated his earlier call for creation of a new security pact to include the European Union and NATO countries as well as former Soviet Republics.

Mr. Medvedev questioned if it would be better to create a new European security structure or hold maneuvers in an area that was the scene of military action less than a year ago - in reference to the NATO exercises in Georgia.

The new administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has stressed its readiness to seek better ties with Russia.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia last year when Georgian troops tried to regain control of the pro-Russian area by force.

Russia also has sharply opposed NATO expansion toward its borders, including the aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia for alliance entry.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.