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Subject: Comtex News. Russia,Nato to build new relations to counter threats    11/21/2001 1:13:57 PM
(COMTEX) B: Russia, NATO set to build new relations to counter threats B: Russia, NATO set to build new relations to counter threats MOSCOW, Nov 21, 2001 (Itar-Tass via COMTEX) -- Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said "NATO is one of Moscow's main partners in countering new threats," and Russia is "ready to develop close interaction with the Alliance in this field". NATO Secretary-General George Robertson is due to arrive in Moscow from Volgograd on Thursday for talks with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov and Security Council secretary Vladimir Rushailo. "Robertson's visit to Moscow is taking place against the background of the world community's understanding of the threat posed by international terrorism to modern democratic development and world order", Yakovenko told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. "Russia believes it necessary to join efforts of the entire world community in the fight against this evil of the 21st century", he added. The NATO Headquarters in Brussels considers the visit as the beginning of a dialogue to overhaul relations between Russia and NATO. A NATO spokesman told journalists that after the September 11 terrorist acts in the United States, previous disagreements between Russia and NATO are beginning to disappear very quickly, and everybody sees that it is necessary to enhance Russia- NATO relations. The NATO secretary-general's visit is to determine concrete and the most promising fields of Russia-NATO interaction, he said. The spokesman said that NATO welcomes British Prime Minister Anthony Blair's proposal to increase Russia's role in NATO decision-making. However not all NATO countries have discussed and approved Blair's proposal. At the same time, the spokesman pointed out that it is necessary to give a qualitatively new status to Russia-NATO relations. Both sides will work out concrete decisions within weeks during the upcoming December visits to Brussels by the Russian foreign and defence ministers, the spokesman said. Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns favoured new relations between America and Russia, including their interaction within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance. During their recent meeting, the Russian and U.S. presidents expressed their determination to build new relations between the two countries. This also applies to Russia-NATO relations, the ambassador said. The chairman of the Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Mayers praised Russia-U.S. cooperation during the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. Relations with Russia is a priority task for the U.S., he noted, adding that Russia exchanges with the US intelligence which is very important for America. The general also said that both countries cooperate in carrying out humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. Mayers is taking part in a session of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and other meetings currently under way in Brussels. .
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