NATO invites Putin to its April summit

NATO has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to join its leaders for part of their April summit meeting in Romania, spokesman James Appathurai said Wednesday. If the Russian leader accepts, it would be the first NATO-Russia head of government meeting since the former Cold War foes signed a cooperation agreement at an air base outside Rome in 2001. The summit in Bucharest will take place just before Putin is due to step down as president in May after serving the maximum two consecutive terms. Russia-NATO relations have been strained in recent months by differences over a range of issues including Kosovo, missile defense and arms control.