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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Germany Urges NATO-Russia Ties

BONN -- NATO should seek a "stable and durable partnership" with Russia in talks between the two sides next week, Germany's foreign minister said Friday after talks with NATO secretary-general Javier Solana.


Solana will meet Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov in Moscow on Monday for preliminary talks on a security deal and other assurances to balance the alliance's eastward expansion.


In his statement, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel emphasized what he said was Germany's full support for NATO plans, which include completing an accord on Russia-NATO ties in time for a July 8 to 9 NATO summit in Madrid. Kinkel said he and Solana agreed that the forthcoming talks should cover the potential for cooperation in the political, military, economic and environmental fields as well as in science, peacekeeping, non-proliferation and arms control.


Russia "would like to see some commitments, some guarantees about the meaning of that enlargement," Solana told a forum on security issues later. He noted that NATO officials said in December it will not station nuclear weapons in former Soviet bloc countries that join the alliance.


President Boris Yeltsin's chief of staff, Anatoly Chubais, reiterated Russia's opposition to NATO expansion Friday during a meeting in Moscow with the chairman of the French parliamentary committee for international affairs, Valery Giscard D'Estaing.


Chubais' aide, Andrei Trapeznikov, said Chubias warned of "the possible danger of aggravation of the situation in Europe should the North Atlantic alliance advance to the east."


NATO reportedly has revamped a package of measures offering Russia an upgraded relationship with the West in hopes of reducing Moscow's opposition to the alliance's plans. It is expected to include the offer of some form of permanent consultative forum between NATO and Russia.


NATO intends to start naming proposed new members at the July summit and admit them by 1999. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland are seen as the most likely initial candidates.


(AP, MT)