Putin signs Russian-Latvian border treaty -1

(Recasts lead, adds details, background in paras. 2-6)

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the ratification of a federal border treaty between Russia and Latvia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

The treaty, called upon to end a long-running territorial dispute with Russia's ex-Soviet neighbor, was signed in Moscow on March 27. Latvia's parliament ratified it on May 17, and the country's president approved the law on May 29.

A 9.5-kilometer (6-mile) sector of the border will have to be moved 30 meters (98 feet) to the west and will become Russian territory. The treaty was ratified by Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on September 5 and the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, on September 19.

By signing the treaty, European Union member Latvia officially recognized the post-Soviet borders with Russia, dropping its earlier territorial claims to the Pytalovsky District in Russia's Pskov Region, which was part of the Baltic country until World War II.

But the press service of the Latvian Constitutional Court said today that the court intends to consider on October 30 the case of the border treaty on its compliance with the Constitution of Latvia.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said earlier that the accord would advance Russia's relations with the 27-nation EU, and that the agreement does not make any excessive territorial concessions to the Latvian side, with Russia receiving 225 hectares (555 acres) and conceding 216 hectares (533 acres).

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