No Barriers To Russia-NATO Partnership: Putin

President Vladimir Putin does not see any obstacles to closer Russian partnership with NATO, he said in a public address at the Rice University. Established at a specific time to offer resistance to the Soviet Union, the alliance is now an influential factor of global stability, and bears major responsibility for it. A Russian-NATO dialogue is underway on a Permanent Council. Russia looks forward to closer links, and will go just as far as its partner dares to go. There are many options under debate to step up Russian-NATO contacts. If a pattern is eventually worked out to provide actual Russian participation in decision-making, graphic changes will come to NATO activities. Constructive consultations with the US Administration and other partners are underway on the matter. Certain dangers were shrugged off quite recently--now they are in the foreground. Of the greatest concern is proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological mass destruction weaponry. If NATO has an ally who can honourably contribute to efforts against those threats, Russia is that ally, and the leaders of foremost NATO countries acknowledge that point, said President Putin.

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