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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin’s Presidency to ‘Bring No Foreign Policy Changes’

RIA Novosti

05:58 18/04/2012 ROME, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - The return of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the post of Russia’s president he held in 2000-2008 will not cause serious changes in the country’s foreign policy, a senior parliamentarian said.

“There is no suspense. Putin’s foreign policy was developed for years… I do not anticipate any dramatic shifts on the issue,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the lower house’s international affairs committee, said at a round table on Russia’s foreign policy in Rome on Tuesday.

President-elect Putin will be sworn in on May 7.

Pushkov said Russia will keep defending its principles in issues it believes are important, including Syria.

Russia has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Syria over what it says is a pro-rebel bias, but gave its full backing to UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which Damascus also supported.

Pushkov also said Russia and the West have good prospects of cooperation.

“Russia is not interested in confrontation with the West. Europe needs Russia just like we need Europe. I believe Russia and the EU have no insurmountable differences,” he said.

“As regards the United States, it needs Russia on an entire set of issues: without Russia’s support at the international level, problems connected with Iran, North Korea and the situation in Syria cannot be resolved,” Pushkov said.

The round table was organized by Italy’s Institute for International Political Studies with support from the Russian embassy in Italy and the Russian scientific and cultural center.

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