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U.S. studying Russia's draft European security treaty - Kelly

RIA Novosti

07:29 02/12/2009 WASHINGTON, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - The United States is studying Russia's draft European security treaty, the State Department said Tuesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed drawing up a new European security pact in June 2008, and Russia published a draft of the treaty on Sunday, sending copies to heads of state and international organizations, including NATO.

"President Obama received a letter from President Medvedev which contained the draft treaty," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

"We're studying the proposal carefully, and we consider it to be an important contribution to the ongoing debate on European security, which has been taking place as part of the Corfu Process," he said.

The 17th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opened in the Greek capital Athens on Tuesday. Its agenda includes discussions of Russia's draft.

At an informal meeting in June this year, the 56 OSCE member states' foreign ministers agreed to start a discussion on fundamental security issues. The discussions were named the Corfu Process after the Greek island that hosted the meeting.

"We believe any proposal must build on the existing body of commitments we have developed together over three decades, as well as central structures such as the OSCE and NATO. These commitments and structures have helped to ensure security in Europe," Kelly told a daily press briefing.

"We continue to embrace a comprehensive approach to security in Europe, which encompasses the political, military, economic, environmental, and human dimensions, and agree entirely with President Medvedev that we need to continue our efforts to adjust to new and emerging threats to European security," he said.

"We look forward to working with the Russian Federation and our other partners in Europe in the days and months to come to further elaborate an agreed approach on these important issues," the spokesman said.

Russia's draft security pact says, in particular, that "every Party shall be entitled to consider an armed attack against any other Party an armed attack against itself."

"In exercising its right of self-defense under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, it shall be entitled to render the attacked Party, subject to its consent, the necessary assistance, including military," it says.

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