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Russia/NATO: Albright Leaves Russia After Primakov Talks

Moscow, 2 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is enroute to Washington after concluding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov aimed at narrowing differences over NATO's planned eastward expansion. Neither Albright nor Primakov made any comment after their talks today, which were added at the last minute and delayed her originally scheduled departure earlier today.

But Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadi Tarasov said progress had been made in their talks.

Albright and Primakov met for two hours yesterday to discuss a NATO-Russia security accord designed to calm Russian fears over the alliance's planned eastward expansion.

After yesterday's meeting, Albright said tough issues remain if the two sides are to meet a 2 May 19977 target date proposed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin for signing an accord on NATO-Russian relations.

Primakov is next scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana in Luxembourg for further negotiations on an accord. NATO is expected to issue the first invitations to new members at a July summit in Madrid.