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Russia: Yeltsin Will Not Attend NATO Madrid Summit

Moscow, 19 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The Kremlin quashed speculation today by announcing that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will not travel to Madrid next month to attend the NATO summit that is expected to confirm the alliance's eastward expansion.

No reason was given, but the decision did not come as a surprise. As a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace, Russia's leaders have been invited to attend the summit, but Moscow remains opposed to the alliance's plan to expand into Central and Eastern Europe.

At the Madrid summit, NATO is expected to invite the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to start negotiations on joining the alliance.