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Defence minister meets Putin

Defence Minister Samuel Schmid has held talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg.

A Swiss government spokesman said both men agreed on the need for Switzerland and Russia to "further develop relations", without providing further details.

Schmid and Putin met on Monday on the sidelines of an international conference commemorating the 140th anniversary of the St Petersburg Declaration that prohibits the use of certain explosive weapons.

It was adopted in 1868 at the initiative of the military authorities of Imperial Russia.

The meeting was organised by the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

"The St Petersburg Declaration was the first treaty to ban certain weapons," said Jakob Kellenberger, the ICRC president.

"Its fundamental principles and its spirit are central to a number of treaties of international humanitarian law that limit or prohibit the use of a variety of contemporary weapons, and so are still relevant today," Kellenberger added.


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