Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has proposed creating a new comprehensive European security pact to replace existing Cold War treaties.

Mr. Medvedev told a gathering of leading German politicians and business figures in Berlin the regional agreement would be based on the United Nations charter and would clarify relations within the Euro-Atlantic Community. He suggested calling a European Summit that would launch preparations for the treaty intended to protect the interests of all countries on the continent.

The Berlin visit is his first to a west European country since taking office last month.

Earlier, Mr. Medvedev expressed concern over what he called a lack of mutual understanding in ties with the West on security and energy issues.

Addressing a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he mentioned disagreements over U.S. missile shield plans for Europe, Kosovo independence and NATO expansion.

For her part, Ms. Merkel vowed to support a joint German-Russian natural gas project connecting the two countries by a pipeline along the floor of the Baltic Sea. She called the project in the best interests of many European countries. Germany is Russia's largest trading partner.

In his comments, Mr. Medvedev rejected any Western attempts to influence the prison term for jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khordorkovsky.

The tycoon is serving an eight-year prison sentence in Siberia following conviction on tax evasion and fraud charges. He says he is the victim of government retaliation for his support of the Russian opposition. The Kremlin denies the accusation.

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