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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Russia's Putin wants quicker reaction from Iran

MOSCOW, July 6 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he wanted a "quicker" response from Iran to major powers' proposals over its nuclear programme, but spoke out against sanctions.

"We would like this reaction to be quicker, and the talks that should begin on the basis of these proposals should be constructive," he said, through an interpreter, on an interactive webcast.

"To wait endlessly is counter-productive, but it would be more counter-productive to drive this problem into a dead-end and that is why I would not speak about sanctions at the moment."

Putin next weekend hosts President George W. Bush and the other leaders of the G8 nations for a summit where the Iranian issue will be a major topic.

Iran said on Thursday it would take its time over the package of proposals, which include trade and technology incentives and are intended to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment.

Major powers have demanded an answer by July 15, when their leaders will meet at the G8 summit in Putin's hometown of St Petersburg, but Iran says it will respond on Aug. 22.
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