Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rybkin Supports New NATO Goal

A top Kremlin security official said he favored Russia joining NATO's political organization and even taking part later in the military structures of the alliance, Interfax said Tuesday.

"Russia could sign an agreement on its joining NATO's political structure," Interfax quoted the secretary of President Boris Yeltsin's Security Council, Ivan Rybkin, as saying. "And then if it goes as we aim and as representatives of the Western states hope, we could join the military organization."

Rybkin made his statement, which is in contrast to Russia's official attitude on NATO, as the Kremlin weighed its reaction to the Western alliance's plans to adopt new members from Moscow's former Cold War allies in eastern Europe.

Rybkin, appointed last month, said he favored Russia following the example of France. For decades Paris remained a NATO member without submitting its forces to joint command. He suggested that the time needed for Russia to apply for full membership was mainly limited to its ability to adjust its military structures to those of NATO.

It was unclear whether Rybkin's statement reflected an official change in Moscow's position, which so far has been hostile to NATO expansion and aimed at striking a separate deal with the alliance, or was his personal point of view.