NATO Secretary-General George Robertson says he has been assured by President Vladimir Putin that Russia is not trying to take advantage of the current situation in order to enter the alliance from the "back door." As he spoke to the press following a meeting with President Putin, Robertson said that the Russian leader also rules out the possibility of Russia entering NATO from the front door. According to the alliance's chief, Putin assured him that Russia is not going to undermine NATO's activity in any way or to veto it. Robertson stressed the importance of advancing with prudence, while missing no opportunities. This was the way he commented on the possibility of Russia becoming a full-fledged member of the alliance, adding that the fact would mark a historic change in the relations between the country and the North Atlantic bloc. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said, for his part, that Russia is not considering such a possibility so far. As he replied to questions from pressmen, the minister said that today's priority is to "raise the quality" of the Russia-NATO partnership. That was what the two-day Moscow negotiations of NATO Secretary-General Robertson were focused on, Ivanov stressed.
President Putin invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to visit Russia during a telephone conversation on June 15