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Moscow against linking Latvia border treaty with history dispute -1

(Recasts, adds background in paragraph 5)

MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry urged Latvia on Wednesday to avoid linking a border treatment with a historical territorial dispute.

A Latvian-Russian border treaty dating back to 1997 remains unsigned and unratified. Latvian politicians have looked to link the border settlement to a declaration from Russia that would admit Soviet aggression during the World War II and other issues.

"Prospects of a border agreement with Latvia have nothing in common with the disputed historical issues," Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said.

Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis said earlier that "if Russia recognized the occupation of Latvia after WWII, the treaty would be easy to sign."

Another major obstacle to signing the treaty is the territorial issue. Latvia has included a unilateral explanatory declaration to the draft border treaty, which allows it to claim Russian territory - the Pytalovo district in the Pskov Region - that was part of Latvia before WWII and was transferred to Russia in 1944.

Karasin also said Russia was considering negotiations between Russian and Latvian prime ministers in Reykjavik, where Baltic-region premiers will meet on June 7-8.

"Latvia has made a proposal to the effect and it is now being discussed," Karasin said.

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