Russia seeks security pact

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The Independent Online

America's self-styled role as the world's dominant power is undermining global security, the Russian President has claimed.

"A desire by the United States to consolidate its global domination led to it missing a historical chance... to build a truly democratic world order," Dmitry Medvedev said of US actions since the attacks of 11 September 2001.

Mr Medvedev also suggested that US economic dominance had added to turmoil on financial markets around the world. Russia's war with Georgia in August showed the security mechanism in Europe, based around Nato and the US, needed a major overhaul, he added. He proposed a new security pact to ban the use of force or the threat of its use, and would make clear that no single country, including Russia, would have a monopoly on providing security for the continent.

In an unusually emotional speech, Mr Medvedev said Washington passed up a historic chance for a new partnership after the 9/11 attacks, when Moscow offered to join Washington in fighting terrorism. The invasion of Iraq and Washington's plans to station elements of a missile defence shield in eastern Europe scotched that partnership.

"After toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the US started a series of unilateral actions," he said. "As a result, a trend appeared in international relations towards creating dividing lines." He said Western policymakers viewed Russia through an outdated Cold War mindset. About the world's financial turmoil, Mr Medvedev said "economic egotism" was a contributing factor, a term coined to describe US policy. Russia has suffered badly from the fall in global markets.

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