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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kozyrev Eyes NATO Plan

Russia has not ruled out future endorsement of NATO's plan to give East European nations membership in the alliance, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said in an interview published Thursday.

Kozyrev said Russia did not reject the concept of NATO's Partnership for Peace but was not prepared to sign a communique drawn up by alliance members at a December meeting in Brussels without any input from Moscow.

"We came there to sign the Partnership for Peace, a program for Russia and NATO," Kozyrev said in the news magazine New Times. "It had been agreed, but the communique was not agreed with us."

Kozyrev said the communique was a compromise worked out among the 16 NATO members and "not between the 16 and Russia."

Kozyrev said the communique issued by the alliance altered the original concept of Partnership for Peace.

Partnership for Peace was inaugurated a year ago as a way of drawing former Warsaw Pact adversaries closer, but without granting them full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Russia stunned the Dec. 2 gathering of NATO members in Brussels by refusing to endorse the plan.