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Russia urges new era of co operation

LONDON, Jan 30 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president created an opportunity to forge a "new era of co-operation" in the world, in an article published here Friday.

Writing in the Guardian, Lavrov repeated President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for a new European security treaty to replace Cold War systems and "establish a truly united area of collective security in the Euro-Atlantic region."

"What is without doubt is the opportunity for a much more multilateral approach to help ease tensions and overcome problems," he wrote.

He said that if nations were serious about greater co-operation, "we must start by shaking ourselves loose from the grip of the old Cold War rivalries" and institutions — including NATO — that seemed "frozen in time".

Many institutions were inward looking, while the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) lacked rules and accountability, Lavrov said.

"It was seeking a way to plug this damaging gap that prompted President Medvedev to propose a new treaty on European security: we believe it would establish a truly united area of collective security in the Euro-Atlantic region and put right what we together so far failed to manage," he said.

The new system would be based on the supremacy of international law and adherence to the UN charter, and create a "forum through which we could resolve security problems for many years to come," he said.

Lavrov insisted there was "no hidden agenda" in the proposals, adding: "If we get this right, it could lead to a new era of co-operation."

Last month the European Union resumed key partnership talks with Moscow, aimed at boosting economic and diplomatic ties three months after they were frozen in the wake of Russia’s military foray into Georgia.

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