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NATO, Russia Reach Accord in Principal on Command Postings

Brussels, June 14 (RFE/RL) -- NATO officials say they have reached agreement with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev on military cooperation. The tentative accord would stipulate that senior Russian military officers be permanently posted at major NATO commands while allied generals would work at Russian military headquarters.

Under the agreement reached in Brussels today, a senior Russian officer would remain posted at NATO's military headquarters near Mons in Belgium and at each of the alliance's three regional commands responsible for the northern, central and southern sections of Western Europe. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that Grachev then agreed to a proposal by Defense Secretary William Perry that senior NATO officers be posted permanently at the Russian general staff in Moscow. Carter describes today's accords as "an agreed concept." He says NATO supreme commander, general George Joulwan, will work out details of the officer exchange during the coming weeks.

Grachev earlier today reiterated Russia's opposition to NATO's proposed eastward expansion. But he said he saw NATO as Russia's partner in maintaining peace in Bosnia and elsewhere in the region.