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Russia Issues New Warning to West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West against seeking to advance its interests in former Soviet republics at the expense of Russia.

Lavrov told a group of foreign businessmen meeting in Moscow his country understands that the United States and Europe have legitimate interests in the region. But he said they should build ties through "legal, understandable and transparent methods," not what he called "behind the scenes meddling," which he said leads to crisis situations.

The Russian minister indirectly mentioned his country's August conflict with Georgia, and repeated Russia's opposition to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Central Europe.

He said his country is counting on the future administration of Barack Obama to confirm pledges to cooperate with Russia in fighting common threats such as international terrorism and weapons proliferation.

Russia calls the U.S. missile plan a threat to its security.

U.S. officials say the proposal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and radar guidance in the Czech Republic is aimed at protecting the European allies against threats from countries such as Iran.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.