Clinton urges closer NATO ties to Russia

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 23, 2010 02:41

 
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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged on Monday closer cooperation between Russia and NATO, the trans-Atlantic alliance that Moscow views with suspicion as a relic of the Cold War and a potential threat to its security.

In a speech launching an international seminar on revising NATO's mission for the 21st century, Clinton bluntly rejected Russian calls for a new European security treaty that Washington believes would lead to a diluting of NATO's influence in Europe and beyond.

"Let me state this unambiguously: While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them," she said. "We want a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that produces concrete results and draws NATO and Russia closer together."

Among Russia's chief worries is NATO's intention to offer membership to the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. It also is troubled by US plans to place antimissile defensive weapons in Romania and possibly other eastern European nations.

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