Russia Seeks Right To Vote At NATO Parliamentary Assembly Meetings

During a meeting of the Joint Working Group of the Russian Federal Assembly and NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Moscow on Friday, the Russian side entered a proposal to grant Russia a right to vote at NATO Parliamentary Assembly meetings. Viktor Ozerov, the head of the delegation of the Federation Council (the Upper House of the Russian Parliament) at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session, informed journalists of Russia's proposal at a press conference. Mr. Ozerov said that the sides had reached the common opinion that Russia and NATO no longer view each other as adversaries. "Our positions coincide, and we have agreed to cooperate on the fight against international terrorism, Kosovo, the Balkans, assisting former servicemen, open sky program, and sea rescues," Mr. Ozerov said. At the same time, the Russian parliamentarian stressed that differences also exist. "We do not approve of the NATO expansion. Our positions differ on technical details of the transition of the North Atlantic Alliance from being based on the 19+1 formula to the full-fledged Group of 20. Meanwhile, Chairman of NATO Parliamentary Assembly Rafael Estrella said that as a result of lengthy discussions the two sides "came to the conclusion that Russia and NATO are finding increasingly more points of agreement."

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