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MOSCOW, November 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow’s and Washington’s disagreement on the ABM problem does not mean an end to “resetting”, Mikhail Margelov, the head of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, told Itar-Tass in a comment on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s televised address to the nation in connection with the setting up of the US/NATO ABM system in Europe.
”Disagreement on the ABM problem does not mean ‘an end to resetting’,” the senator stressed, adding that he asserts this as a participant in the meeting in Honolulu of the presidents of Russia and the United States. “Disagreement on one of the many items on the agenda of Russian-American relations is no reason for rupture,” he said.
In this connection the head of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee noted that the Russian president in his address stressed that measures Russia would take if the United States started building missile defense in Europe do not mean that Russia refuses from continuing the dialogue with the United States and NATO on this theme. “If agreement was not reached today this does not mean that it cannot be reached tomorrow, moreover, as Russia has several joint projects in the security area with the United States and NATO – the transit of cargoes of the alliance over Russian territory to Afghanistan, the fight against the flow of Afghan drugs, against piracy off Africa’s coasts, joint space projects and many other things,” Margelov said.
He substantiated his confidence about the possibility of continuing the Russian-American dialogue also by the fact that “discrepancies in the security area used to happen even between the closest allies in the past.” As an example he mentioned the facts that during the Cold War France withdrew from the NATO military organization, and, in the Soviet bloc, Romania refused to participate in the exercise of troops of the Warsaw Treaty Organization.
“The Russian president gave today a clear signal that a strong Russia is not a menacing Russia. The strong Russia is a country that does not forget its national interests,” said the head of the committee of the upper house of Russian parliament.