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    RUSSIAN, US FOREIGN POLICY CHIEFS TO DISCUSS STRATEGIC SECURITY AND WMD

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    MOSCOW, January 23rd, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Security and non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction will be high on the agenda of the talks between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State Colin Powell due on January 26 in Moscow, a source in the Russian foreign ministry said to RIA Novosti.

    According to the source, this is linked to the launched implementation of the Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) Treaty. The treaty was made at the meeting between the two countries' presidents on June 3rd, 2003 in St. Petersburg.

    Its implementation has already begun. The sides have exchanged information about their plans in this area. Now a bilateral commission for the treaty's implementation is due to gather for a session, after its competence area and mandate have been co-ordinated.

    To quote the source, the upcoming talks will highlight the realisation of the Moscow declaration on new strategic relationships, signed in 2002, and especially its part dealing with missile defence.

    We do not agree that the plans to develop a global ABM that is seen as the Bush administration's priority are justified. But we are ready to seek answers to the emerging threats, including missile menaces, together, said the source.

    In his words, today the main task is to deal with the complicated situation in the wake of the US's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty by increasing mutual trust and transparency.

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