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    MOSCOW TO APPROACH PRAGMATICALLY ITS POSSIBLE PARTICIPATION IN BUSH'S DISARMAMENT INITIATIVE

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    MOSCOW, January 30, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia will take a decision on its possible joining George Bush's disarmament initiative, proceeding from its national interests.

    As RIA Novosti was told by a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry, the USA does not set any conditions to Russia and did not name the final date for joining this initiative.

    "We shall cooperate in checking illegal arms deliveries; our interests coincide with the interests of a whole number of countries in preventing the appearance of black arms markets. But whether this will be done within the framework of Bush's initiative or with the use of other mechanisms will depend on the aims of such cooperation, said the source.

    The source reminded RIA Novosti that at the negotiations in Moscow US Under Secretary John Bolton gave additional explanations to his Russian colleagues with regard to the legal foundation of Bush's initiative.

    "This mechanism is developing; it is not an organisation, but most likely a process which makes it possible for its participants to coordinate their actions in checking illegal deliveries of weapons of mass destruction or appropriate materials," the source said.

    He pointed out that the initiative has two basic documents, that is, the Paris statement on principles and the London statement which develops the idea of this initiative.

    "We will consider our possible cooperatin within the framework of this initiative or in another format with due account of several basic positions," the source said. Some of them are: the correspondence of the fulfillment of Bush's initiative to the norms of International Law, how this cooperation will be built, and how much it meets Russia's interests.

    "Discussions continue, and I cannot say today that we have received satisfactory answers to all our questions concerning this initiative," the source told RIA Novosti.

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