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Russia sees basis of new strategic ties with U.S.

MOSCOW, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it could see the basis for working out a new strategic relationship with the United States after a round of expert consultations with Washington on arms and missile defence.

A meeting in October in Shanghai between Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin and President George W. Bush had prepared the ground for working out "basic views on the framework of future strategic relations," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Mutual political steps, as well as careful treatment of existing, interconnected strategic arms agreements, offensive and defensive, are now required," the Ministry said.

The statement followed a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and senior U.S. Secretary of State John Bolton which it said focused on strategic offensive weapons and anti-missile defence.

Bolton was in Moscow to discuss arms questions with the Russian side before a U.S. summit between Putin and Bush set for November 13-15. The summit was expected to be dominated by U.S. missile defence plans and a dispute over the future of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

Cooperation in the war against terrorism has improved relations between Moscow and Washington, which were dominated in the initial months of Bush's term by a controversy over the U.S. missile defence scheme.

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