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    Russia to increase cooperation with Venezuela - MP

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    MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti). - A senior Russian parliamentarian told a Venezuelan supreme court judge Tuesday that Russia wanted to increase bilateral cooperation with Venezuela.

    Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Pekhtin, told Omar Alfredo that political contacts between Russia and Venezuela had been developing rapidly and cooperation between the legislatures of the two countries should be promoted.

    He said that the exchange of opinions between the legislatures was important to bilateral relations and could contribute to cooperation in different sectors.

    "The groundwork for developing Russian-Venezuelan relations was laid during the meetings of the heads of state in Moscow in 2001 and 2004," the vice speaker said. The political dialogue was positive, he noted.

    Pekhtin said Russia and Venezuela adopted similar positions in the United Nations on key issues such as global security, the fight against international terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking.

    "Russia is consistent in its call for a safer and more just international order, based on rigorous compliance with international law, first and foremost the UN Charter, and respect for the legitimate interests of other states," the State Duma vice-speaker said.

    He concluded that Venezuela and Russia had many common interests and that the conditions were right for increased bilateral cooperation.

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