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    PRESIDENT PUTIN URGES TO LOOK FOR ALLIES IN THE WEST

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    MOSCOW, February 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Yelena Glushakova) - Russia will orient its course of cooperation with the West on the "sound forces", which are plural in the USA and Europe, Vladimir Putin stated.

    When answering at the meeting the question of an authorized representative, Putin noted that "there are relatively powerful forces in the West, which can't free themselves from the stereotypes of the past and "continue to take us as the geopolitical competitors." In particular, there are forces in the USA, which still abide with the stereotypes of the Cold War. "I can feel it in my work," Mr. Putin stressed.

    Meanwhile, he believes that Russia also has various political parties, including extremist ones.

    "We must look for allies in the civilized countries and must melt the ice of distrust, which appeared in the course of 80 years of Soviet confrontation with the whole world," Mr. Putin said.

    "However, the sound forces in the USA and Europe form the majority. They are our partners and we must orient our course of cooperation on them," Vladimir Putin said. According to him, "the main aim for Russia is to become a valuable and competent member of the world society." However, when reaching the aim Russia must always bear in mind its own interests, Vladimir Putin stressed.

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