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Russia: No Final NATO Solution Expected At Summit

Helsinki, 19 March 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russia said today it does not expect this week's U.S.-Russia summit to resolve completely differences over NATO's planned expansion eastwards.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, spokesman for president Boris Yeltsin, told reporters that Russia would like the summit with U.S. President Bill Clinton opening in Helsinki tomorrow to bring the positions closer.

But Yastrzhembsky said no one should expect the final compromises to be taken in Helsinki and further negotiations will be needed. He said Russia still opposed Nato's plans but praised NATO for showing signs of understanding Russia's security concerns and Moscow's demand for a special binding security charter with the western alliance.

He said the talk at the summit will be tough and described Yeltsin's mood as being very decisive. Yastrzhembsky also said the summit offered the chance to lay down an outline for the Russian-American partnership in the 21st Century.