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    Russia's Lavrov to visit Germany for security talks

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Germany on Friday on a visit that will see talks with his German counterpart and participation in a security conference in Munich.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Germany on Friday on a visit that will see talks with his German counterpart and participation in a security conference in Munich.

    Lavrov and Guido Westerwelle will meet in Berlin on Friday to discuss Russian-German bilateral relations, European security, and nuclear arms cuts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

    The possible lifting of Russia's moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, unilaterally imposed in December 2007, is also expected to be discussed.

    Moscow considers the original CFE treaty, signed in December 1990 by 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members, to be discriminatory and outdated since it does not reflect the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, the breakup of the Soviet Union, or recent NATO expansion.

    Russia has repeatedly said it will resume its participation in the CFE if NATO countries ratify the adapted version of the treaty, signed on November 19, 1999 and so far ratified only by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

    On Saturday, Lavrov will fly to Munich, where he will participate in a plenary session of the 46th Security Conference, Nesterenko said.

    He said Russia expects to discuss its draft pan-European security treaty with conference participants, which will take place in the southern German city on February 5-7.

    However, so far, the West has been lukewarm to the idea. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen effectively rebuffed Medvedev's project, saying it was not necessary.

    The Russian foreign minister is expected to be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and the Russian lower house's international affairs committee chairman, Konstantin Kosachyov, on his visit to Germany.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko, and U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones are also expected to take part in the Munich conference.

    MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti)

     

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