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Russia/NATO: Rodionov Leaves Moscow for NATO Meeting

Moscow, 26 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov left Moscow today to meet with NATO defense ministers in Bergen, Norway.

Our correspondent quotes the defense ministry press service as saying that Rodionov will discuss NATO's planned eastward expansion, as well as the relationship between the alliance and Russia. Rodionov is scheduled to hold talks with the ministers at the end of their informal meeting. Russia opposes the expansion as a threat to its security.

Yesterday, NATO general secretary Javier Solana told reporters that NATO intends to have an open and frank dialogue with Russia about its concerns.

Rodionov is also expected to meet Solana and U.S. defense secretary William Perry.

The visit is Rodionov's first foreign trip since he was appointed defense minister in July.