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NATO Head Does Not Object To Proposed French Warship Sale To Russia

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

A spokesman for NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance head does not object to the proposed sale of a French warship to Russia.

Spokesman James Appathurai also described Rasmussen as not considering Russia "a threat," adding that the secretary-general "hopes that Russia does not consider NATO a threat."

The comments follow recent Kremlin criticism that NATO efforts were undermining Russian sovereignty. Appathurai said Rasmussen is aware of the anxiety expressed by some NATO countries over the proposed warship sale.

If the deal goes through, France's sale of the advanced warship -- which can carry up to 16 helicopters and a 750-strong landing force -- would be Russia's first purchase of sophisticated military technology from a NATO country.

compiled from agency reports