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Russia: Lebed Will Criticize Russia's NATO Policy In Talk With Yeltsin

Moscow, 10 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Aleksandr Lebed is satisfied with his talks this week with senior NATO officials, says a spokesman for the Russian Security Council Secretary.

Itar-tass quotes Aleksandr Barkhatov as saying today in Moscow that Lebed would, however, criticize Russia's position on NATO when he next briefs President Boris Yeltsin.

According to Barkhatov, Lebed considers the past year "the year of missed opportunities" regarding cooperation between Russia and NATO.

The spokesman said Lebed plans to make "constructive recommendations" to Yeltsin on the issue.

During his talks with NATO officials this week, Lebed reaffirmed Moscow's opposition to moves to grant NATO membership to former Warsaw Pact countries. But Lebed has accepted that Russia has no right to veto expansion, and he stressed the need to build on existing cooperation with NATO.

Lebed has been accused in Moscow of achieving little in his trip and is now widely expected to take a tougher public stance over NATO.