Putin says Iran sanctions 'practically agreed upon'
Fresh UN sanctions against Iran over its suspect nuclear programme have been "practically agreed upon", Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying here by Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency.
"We have worked a lot and believe that the resolution is practically agreed upon," Putin told a news conference here.
Russia, one of the five permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, believes that the sanctions should not be extreme, he said.
"Our point of view is that these decisions should not be excessive and should not put the Iranian people in a complicated position which would put up barriers on the path to peaceful nuclear energy," Putin added.
The Russian leader also said he could hold a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Istanbul where they were both attending the summit of an Asian security grouping.
"I believe we might have the opportunity to meet if need be. We can discuss these issues with him," Putin said.
Earlier Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said that his country would not hold talks over its nuclear drive if it was slapped with new sanctions.
"I have said that the US government and its allies are mistaken if they think they can brandish the stick of resolution and then sit down to talk with us, such a thing will not happen," he warned.
The UN Security Council is to hold fresh talks later Tuesday on a fourth sanctions resolution against Iran over its atomic programme which the West fears is a cover for nuclear weapons.
The sponsors of the bill, among them Russia, are aiming to hold a vote later this week.
© 2010 AFP