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Russia ready to harmonize relations with U.S., NATO - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

20:39 20/10/2009 BELGRADE, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated on Tuesday that Moscow was looking to reset relations with the U.S. and other Western partners, including NATO.

Medvedev arrived in Serbia on Tuesday for the first visit to the country by a Russian head of state since Vladimir Putin's trip in 2001.

"Russia is ready to harmonize relations with the United States and other Western partners, including constructive cooperation with NATO in resolving common tasks," Medvedev, the first foreign leader to address Serbia's parliament, said.

Commenting on Belgrade's European Union ambitions, Medvedev said Moscow had never been against EU expansion.

"We have already established a strategic partnership with the European Union. It is designed to be a pillar of the new Europe. We are not and cannot be against the accession to the EU of new members, including southeast European countries," the Russian leader said.

He also called again for a new pan-European security treaty.

"The drafting and signing of a European security treaty could give a start to the establishment of a common security area in the Euro-Atlantic zone and give equal and safe guarantees to all nations," Medvedev said.

After talks earlier in the day with his Serbian counterpart, Boris Tadic, Medvedev pledged to continue to support Belgrade in defending its territorial integrity.

However, he warned Serbian parliamentarians that no parallels could be drawn between Kosovo's proclamation of independence in February 2008 and last August's war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

Medvedev said Russia was set to render "comprehensive support" to both South Ossetia and another former Georgian republic, Abkhazia, "to help enhance stability in the Caucasus."

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