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Draft Treaty On Security Released

Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, passed on the draft of the Kremlin’s new trans-Atlantic security treaty Monday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also scheduled to present the document to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a ministry spokesman said.

Moscow stepped up its campaign for the new security architecture in Europe, which would bolster its global influence, experts said. The treaty would prohibit signatories from taking action that would “affect significantly” the security of any other party to the pact.

That clause could give Moscow a strong say in shaping NATO policy and a lever to limit U.S. support for former Soviet republics such as Georgia, whose military was routed in a five-day war with Russia last year.

President Dmitry Medvedev has been trying to sell the idea of an overarching security pact with Europe and the United States since he took office in May 2008. Western leaders have politely expressed interest but asked for more details and warned that there was no need to replace existing security arrangements.

Russian officials have said the proposal is not meant to weaken or replace NATO, which was created after World War II to counter the Soviet Union. But the draft is unlikely to ease Western concerns that the pact could significantly bolster Russia’s influence when trust is still frayed by its invasion of Georgia and its recognition of the country’s separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent nations.

A Medvedev mantra has been that no nation or alliance should improve its own security at the expense of others.

Russia has long expressed concern about NATO and U.S. military influence near its borders.

The draft is called the European Security Treaty, but Russian officials have made clear that it is meant to include the United States and former Soviet republics, saying it should stretch “from Vancouver to Vladivostok.”

(AP, MT)

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