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Russia: NATO Accord Could Be Signed May 27

Paris, 9 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov said in Paris today that an agreement establishing a new relationship between Russia and NATO could be signed in Paris late next month.

Primakov made the remark after talks with French President Jacques Chirac. He told reporters that Chirac suggested the document be signed in Paris on May 27.

Primakov says President Boris Yeltsin has authorized him to to say "he might come to Paris to sign the document at the level of the leaders of Russia and the 16 member countries of NATO."

NATO and Russia are currently negotiating the wording of a joint document ahead of a July summit in Madrid that will designate countries to be invited to join NATO.

The Russia-NATO accord is aimed at mollifying Russia's hostility to NATO. Primakov insists Russia has not made any shift in its objections to NATO expansion.