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Russia: Primakov Demands NATO Guarantees In Talks With Talbott

Moscow, 30 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov repeated today Russia's demands for guarantees that NATO will not deploy its military infrastructure into former Soviet bloc countries when the alliance expands eastwards.

Primakov made the remarks in talks in Moscow today with U.S. Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott. A Foreign Ministry statement issued after the talks quotes Primakov as saying Russia still hopes to sign an agreement on a new partnership with NATO in Paris May 27.

But the statement also makes clear Moscow still opposes NATO's plans to expand eastwards and that one of the condictions for an agreement on the terms of a new partnership is amending the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty.

Talbott came to Moscow to prepare for a meeting tomorrow between Primakov and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Primakov, who returned to work this week following gall bladder surgery, is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana in Luxembourg on May 6 for their fifth round of talks on NATO expansion plans.