MOSCOW - Moscow will seek closer ties with the United States but will not tolerate interference in its affairs and wants "firm guarantees" a US missile shield is not aimed against Russia, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Putin set out foreign policy priorities in a wide-ranging decree signed hours after his inauguration to a six-year term as president.

Russia wants to bring cooperation with Washington "to a truly strategic level" but relations must be based on "equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for one another's interests," and mutual respect, the decree said.

It said Russia will continue to seek guarantees that US missile defenses are not aimed at undermining Russia's security by weakening its nuclear deterrent.

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