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Munich security conference recognizes Russia’s crucial role in global politics – Pushkov

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(Interfax – February 3, 2013)

Recognition that no clues can be found to the most acute present-day problems without Russia ranks among major results of the Munich Security Conference, said State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov.

“The speakers conveyed one fundamental idea: in NATO’s opinion it will be extremely difficult to find solutions to global present-day problems without Russia, which I see as one of the crucial moments in the international conference,” Pushkov said in an interview with Interfax by telephone on Sunday.

Pushkov quoted NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as saying that NATO must cooperate with Russia if long-term stability is to be guaranteed in the Euro-Atlantic space.

“Rasmussen complained about NATO’s financial problems, saying that only two member-states honor their obligations. If the situation is not amended in the near future, said Rasmussen, NATO will hardly be able to maintain international security and stability,” Pushkov said, adding that Rasmussen “underscored the great importance of cooperation with Russia.”

“Contacts with participants on the sidelines of the conference suggest that many of them do not see sense in NATO’s further existence in the post-Cold War era, and that the Alliance has found itself virtually one step from the grave,” Pushkov said.

Another major highlight was recognition by many that no military scenario can be applied in Iran, he said.

“U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden openly expressed opposition to all possible military operations against Iran, while German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said a military scenario would be extremely counterproductive. And, of course, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, too, that he absolutely rules out the use of military force against Iran and that all problems must be tackled in a diplomatic way, through dialogue,” Pushkov said.

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