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Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 14:50 GMT
Russian concern over Pakistan
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has expressed concern about the risk of Pakistan's weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists.

In an interview with an Indian newspaper The Hindu ahead of a three-day visit to India this week, he said there was also the threat that extremists could get hold of sensitive information on producing weapons with a destructive potential.

He said Russia remained anxious about the problem in spite of Pakistan's efforts to deal with it.

Pakistan rejected any concerns about the security of its nuclear assets, saying Russia should pay attention to safeguarding its own fissile material.

Elsewhere in the interview, President Putin called for greater economic cooperation with India, saying commercial trade was inadmissibly low.

Russia remains India's main defence supplier, but trade in other areas has dropped since Soviet times.

(From the newsroom of BBC World Service)

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