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Russia Could Get Veto in NATO

November 23, 2001|From Reuters

MOSCOW — NATO Secretary-General George Robertson will meet Russian President Vladimir V. Putin today to discuss burgeoning security ties that could eventually see Moscow given veto power in alliance affairs.

Robertson said Thursday that the two sides were discussing plans for closer security ties, and he was asked whether the proposals would in effect hand Russia a veto in some NATO affairs.

"It would depend on the subject matter as well . . . but we're not at that stage yet. We're exploring it, and that is one of the implications that would have to be weighed up," he said.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed that the western military alliance and Russia set up a new body that would take relations to a new level. It remains unclear how widely Blair consulted before he launched his initiative in a letter to Putin, and how much support the plan has within NATO.

Gen. Harald Kujat, elected chairman of NATO's Military Committee this week, dismissed Blair's plan, saying there were already provisions for cooperation between the alliance and Russia.

Putin has made integrating Russia into Western institutions a top priority.

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