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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Backs Rogozin for NATO Post

Nationalist politician Dmitry Rogozin took a step toward becoming Russia's new permanent representative to NATO on Thursday, with the State Duma's International Affairs Committee unanimously confirming his candidacy.

Rogozin told reporters that the Federation Council would now consider his candidacy Nov. 13. After that, President Vladimir Putin would need to sign off on the appointment.

"If the president confirms me for [the post], I intend to execute my duties fully and honestly," Rogozin said, Interfax reported.

Rogozin, who has accused NATO of carrying out "the rather aggressive interests of the United States," said Thursday that key issues for him would include a U.S. missile defense plan and Kosovo. "All of Serbia is counting on Russia," he said. "If we can hold our position, then we can revive our influence in the Balkans. There has been wide speculation that a NATO posting for Rogozin would be a Kremlin attempt to send him into political exile. Rogozin, 43, had a falling out with the Kremlin last year after attending opposition rallies.