German Chancellor Merkel phones Putin to discuss US missile plan


Merkel phones Putin to discuss U.S. missile plan 2007-04-28 23:59:15

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    BERLIN, April 28 (Xinhua) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday to discuss the growing controversy over the U.S. plan to install a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

    According to government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm, Merkel welcomed Thursday’s talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and NATO foreign ministers in Oslo.

    They also talked about Putin’s warning that Russia would declare a suspension of its obligations under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) if the United States insists on installing part of its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    The CFE treaty, signed in 1990 between NATO member countries and those of the rival Warsaw Pact, regulates the deployment of conventional weapons in and around the European continent.

    Germany, which holds the current presidency of the European Union, has urged that the issue be discussed within the framework of NATO.

    Merkel also phoned Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, urging both Russia and Estonia to practise restraint on dispute over Estonia’s removal of a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn.

    The Estonian government ordered to remove early Friday the World War II memorial, the Bronze Soldier, from its location in Tallinn, capital of the former Soviet state following protests that left one dead and dozens injured.

    Estonian nationalists regard the monument as a symbol of the Soviet occupation of their country, but others feel it honors the Soviet troops who gave their lives to fight fascism.

Editor: Luan Shanglin


Xinhua – English

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