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Russia: NATO Talks To Resume May 6

Brussels, 21 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - NATO officials say that the alliance and Russia are to hold a new round of talks next month in an attempt to strike a deal before NATO proceeds with expansion eastwards.

The officials said today that NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov would hold a fifth round of negotiations in Luxembourg on May 6 to try to overcome remaining Russian objections.

Moscow has partly agreed on a new charter giving it an upgraded relationship, including a permanent consultative mechanism with the alliance, but has tabled tough demands on military activities in new member states.

NATO says the limits on upgrading military facilities of countries set to join -- most probably Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic -- are unacceptable as they would give the new countries a "second-class" membership.

Last week, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said he hoped the NATO-Russia pact would be ready for signing in Paris on May 27.

That would clear the way for new members to be invited to join the alliance at a special summit in Madrid in July.