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2 Jun, 2010 13:28

Baltic summit tests ground for upcoming World Political Forum

Reports and discussions at the Baltic Forum in Latvia have shown high levels of interest among attendees in the World Political Forum, scheduled to take place in Russia’s Yaroslavl in September.

The recent forum, attended by diplomats and foreign policy experts from Russia, Latvia, Germany and the United States, was devoted to post-crisis society. It took place in the resort town of Yurmala in the last days of May.

At the opening ceremony, Latvian Prime Minister Ronis called upon the participants to stop fearing or censuring each other and listen to various points of view. Russia’s ambassador to Latvia, Aleksandr Veshnyakov, expressed hope that the conference would be significant both for researchers and for those engaged in applied politics.

The forum participants also held seminars and consultations dedicated to the International Political Forum “Modern State – Standards of Democracy and Criteria of Effectiveness”, which is scheduled to take place in September this year in Russia’s Yaroslavl. The Yurmala summit hosted a discussion on the topic “Regional Systems of Global Security”.

RT caught up with the participants of the forum to talk about some of the issues that remain the topics of intense debates between Russia and its Western allies. One of them is the Iranian nuclear program.

The US and Russia should determine how they can work together to put in place a system that can defend against threats from third countries like Iran, says former assistant US secretary of state, Richard Burt.

“The problem is Iran in the past has cheated. Iran is a member of the non-proliferation treaty. They’ve agreed to open their facilities to inspection, but we know now they they’ve hidden certain of their facilities. We need more transparency.”

The deployment of US Patriot missiles in Poland is another issue that Russia feels is threatening regional and global security.

However, Paul Saunders, executive director of the Nixon Center, says he sees the step as symbolic more than anything else.

“My understanding is that it’s a temporary deployment. It a small number of people, it’s a small number of missiles. I view it much more as a symbolic effort by the United States a little bit to reassure Poland.”