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Putin warns on Iraq war

By Jill Dougherty, CNN Moscow Bureau Chief

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Putin calls for immediate end to war.

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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the war in Iraq is the "most serious crisis the world has faced since the Cold War."

Speaking to members of the Russian Parliament, Putin said the war in Iraq has gone beyond the bounds of a "localized" conflict and is "shaking the foundations of global stability and international law."

The war, he said, is becoming more "fierce" and "drawn out."

"With every hour," the Russian president said, "human casualties and destruction are mounting, peaceful citizens are dying -- children, old people, women. American and British soldiers are dying, as are Iraqi servicemen."

Putin said Russia believes the only way out of the situation is to "immediately end military action and re-start the process of political solution within the framework of the U.N. Security Council."

Russia, he said, is open to working with all sides involved in the conflict, including the United States.

"The level and character of our relations with our American colleagues reached over the past few years gives us the basis for continuing an open dialogue," he said.


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