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Russia: Foreign Minister Optimistic About NATO Negotiations

Moscow, 6 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov said today he is optimistic about negotiations between Moscow and NATO over the expansion of the alliance into Eastern and Central Europe.

Primakov told reporters after Yeltsin's address to parliament, which touched on the expansion issue, that he believed the negotiations will go well.

NATO secretary general Javier Solana is due to visit Moscow this weekend to continue talks with Primakov and other Russian officials. Moscow wants a binding treaty to be signed with NATO to contain security guarantees.

Yeltsin today reiterated Moscow's opposition to the alliance's expansion into Eastern Europe saying the move posed a direct security threat to Russia.