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Russia: Putin Assures NATO's Robertson Of Expanding Cooperation

Moscow, 30 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today during a meeting with visiting NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson that Russia remain committed to expanding cooperation with NATO. Putin said the scope of bilateral cooperation has increased during Robertson's terms of office. "Such changes [between Russia and the West] meet Russia's national interest and the strategy of Russia's foreign policy and I am pleased that such fundamental changes are associated with your [Robertson's] name," Putin said.

Earlier today, Robertson told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov that NATO and Russia face the common threat of global terrorism and must work together quickly and effectively to find a solution.

Robertson's two-day visit to Russia will include talks with defense and foreign affairs officials. This is his farewell visit as NATO's secretary-general.

Starting on 1 January, he will be succeeded by Dutch Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, currently the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's chairman in office.