NATO, Russia Proclaim Cooperation Back on Track

NATO and Russia proclaimed over the weekend that their post-cold-war cooperation was back on track after recent disputes over the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other key European issues.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin met senior NATO officials in Brussels for talks that had been expected to be difficult. Moscow demanded special ties with the alliance, complaining that the West was ignoring its views.

Instead, Mr. Churkin and NATO Assistant Secretary-General Gephardt von Moltke said they had made good progress, but neither gave details.

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev is due to sign NATO's Partnership for Peace scheme Wednesday.

But Moscow wants a separate agreement on political links with NATO that would lead to a much broader relationship. While NATO has said it is willing to start a ``broad dialogue'' with Russia, it has set clear limits and insisted that Moscow cannot hope to influence or veto alliance decisions.

The two sides are expected to issue a joint declaration on their future relationship, during the signing session this Wednesday. But NATO insists that this decloration cannot take the form of a treaty.

Russia has said it wants NATO's role in European security to be reduced and for the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe to take the leading role.

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