Obama seeks Russia's cooperation on Iran and N.Korea

12:29, 07 July 2009
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The U.S. president...

The U.S. president gave a speech to students in Moscow on Tuesday, calling for a major overhaul in relations between the countries, and calling on Russia to work with the West to prevent a nuclear arms race, according to RIA Novosti.

In a speech to graduating students at the New Economic School, following his meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama said Washington wants "a strong, peaceful, and prosperous Russia," and recognizes "the future benefit that will come from a strong and vibrant Russia."

He said the countries must work together to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

"If we fail to stand together, then the NPT [nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the Security Council will lose credibility, and international law will give way to the law of the jungle."

"Neither America nor Russia would benefit from a nuclear arms race in East Asia or the Middle East... That is why we should be united in opposing North Korea`s efforts to become a nuclear power, and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."

On a key dispute between Moscow and Washington - U.S. plans for a missile shield in Central Europe - Obama said the plans could be scrapped if Iran abandons its military nuclear and missile programs.

"If the threat from Iran`s nuclear and ballistic missile programs is eliminated, the driving force for missile defense in Europe will be eliminated."

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