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NATO: Ministers Wrap Up Meeting

Florence, 25 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - NATO foreign ministers have concluded a two-day meeting in the Italian city of Florence. During the meeting, Russia officially resumed ties with NATO in full by sending Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. Moscow froze its ties with the alliance last year over NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia. The ministers also praised Ukraine for supporting and cooperating with NATO. But U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also said Ukraine must reform its military structure to bring it in line with the alliance.

Croatia joined NATO's Partership for Peace program, and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said it is on a "new and promising path" toward enhanced cooperation.

The alliance also reasserted its support for the European Union's plans to set up a 60,000-strong rapid reaction force by 2003.