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Russia: Primakov Says Differences Won't Impair U.S. Relations

Washington, 18 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov says Russia and the United States continue to have differences over NATO expansion but this will not impair relations between presidents Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton.

He told reporters after talks with President Clinton yesterday at the White House that Russia has not changed its position on NATO expansion and that the United States understands Russia's viewpoint.

But Primakov said his country knows that NATO is a real force and wants to have normal relations with the western alliance that will help to stabilize European security.

Primakov said both sides tabled proposals that were thoroughly discussed during his three-day visit to Washington. "We worked hard on them and had some success," he said without elaborating.

Primakov said Yeltsin attaches great importance to the upcoming summit with Clinton and that both sides will continue to try to narrow their differences.