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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia favors international nuclear centers under IAEA control

RIA Novosti

23/01/2007 11:33

MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia supports the establishment of international nuclear fuel enrichment centers under the control of international organizations, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

On the eve of his visit to India, Putin gave an interview to the Indian television channel Doordarshan and the PTI news agency.

"We believe it is necessary to establish a network of international centers for nuclear fuel enrichment under the control of international organizations, above all, of course, of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]. Within the framework of these centers, in our opinion, equal, non-discriminatory and democratic access must be provided to technologies and materials, while simultaneously complying with the principles and requirements of [nuclear] non-proliferation," Putin said.

The Russian president said Russia and India have been long-standing partners in the civilian nuclear energy sector.

"Our country has done a great deal for the development of the Indian nuclear energy industry," Putin said.

According to the Russian president, all countries have the right to access modern technologies.

"Besides, according to expert opinion, it will be impossible to solve the energy problems faced by many countries without nuclear energy," Putin said.

The problem, however, is to comply with the non-proliferation regime regulating weapons of mass destruction, the Russian president said.

"That refers not only to India, but to many other so-called "threshold" countries. And that is why when we discuss, for instance, the Iranian nuclear issue, we must think of it as a universal rather than as an isolated case. Russia has its own proposals on that score," Putin said.

The Russian president also said Russia wants to be a country that is an equal among equals on the international scene, rather than a superpower.

"When there is talk these days that Russia seeks that [superpower] status, I see only one thing in that -- a desire to undermine trust in Russia, to use Russia to spread fear and foster the image of an enemy," Putin said.

Putin said that Russia stands for a multi-polar world, for a democratic world order, and for the strengthening of the system of international law.

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