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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Ignores Lobov Rap On NATO

PRAGUE -- A senior U.S. diplomat dismissed on Thursday a top Russian official's suggestion that NATO include Moscow's objections to the alliance's expansion in documents on future cooperation.

Ambassador John Kornblum, a senior U.S. negotiator in NATO, told a news conference that the statements by the secretary of Russia's Security Council, Oleg Lobov, were his personal opinion and did not reflect official Russian policy.

"I imagine that Mr. Lobov was doing what happens in every democracy ... he was trying to put his views on the record," Kornblum told journalists in Prague and Sofia by satellite from Washington. "We do not believe that there is any kind of special importance to be attached to this."

On Wednesday in Moscow, Lobov had told reporters that the question of Russia's cooperation in the NATO's Partnership for Peace program should be linked to recognition of Russia's objections to enlargement.

Moscow signed a framework agreement last June on joining the NATO program, which provides for joint military training, exercises and defense planning.