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NATO/Rus: Albright Sees Progress

Moscow, 21 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says the United States and Russia have made progress on European security but that more work is needed to close a deal.

Albright spoke today after talks in the Kremlin with President Boris Yeltsin and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov. She described the Russian leader as engaged and "very much in charge." Yeltsin has faced health problems in recent months and demands from opposition lawmakers to step aside.

Albright says there has been "important progress" on plans for a document defining post-Cold War ties between Russia and the NATO alliance.

But she says it is far from certain that a deal could be in place by the time NATO holds a summit in Madrid in July to decide which former Warsaw Pact states to bring in as new members.

Primakov said Russia remained firmly opposed to expansion of the alliance. He said NATO should sign a legally binding document on ties with Russia if the expansion goes ahead.