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Russia: Clinton Talks With Kohl About NATO, Yeltsin Meeting

Washington, 7 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl talked about NATO alliance expansion and developments in Russia in a telephone conversation yesterday, the White House says.

Spokesman Michael McCurry says Clinton telephoned Kohl for a briefing on Kohl's recent meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

McCurry says Clinton and Kohl agreed that the NATO alliance should proceed with its scheduled plans to invite new members from among the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe to join the military organization. NATO plans to issue the invitations, most likely to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, this summer.

Russia is opposed to the expansion but has agreed to talks with NATO on a formal relationship between Russia and the alliance.

McCurry also says Clinton is still planning to meet with Yeltsin soon, possibly in March. However, McCurry reiterated that no firm date or venue for the talks have been chosen.