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Russia: NATO Rejects Lebed's Proposal On Expansion

Brussels, 7 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- NATO has reportedly rejected a proposal from Russian Security Secretary Aleksandr Lebed which would have linked NATO expansion to an agreement with Russia.

A high-ranking NATO official told Western news agencies today Lebed favors a situation where a NATO-Russia agreement or charter would be drafted before NATO expanded.

The official said NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana told Lebed NATO rejects such an approach. He added that the talks with Lebed were constructive.

After his meeting with Solana, Lebed said NATO should approach any eastward expansion with extreme caution.

In the past, Lebed has called NATO's enlargement plans "unacceptable" and has threatened sanctions against U.S. and German companies operating in Russia if expansion goes forward.