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    NATO EXPANSION ENFEEBLES MOSCOW, WARNS RUSSIAN SENATOR

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    DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 22 (RIA Novosti correspondent Ekaterina Andrianova) - NATO expansion is ousting Russia to the continent's east so to undermine its beneficial position in the Eurasian centre, says Mikhail Marghelov, foreign affairs committee head in the Federation Council, the Russian parliament's lower house. He is active at a World Economic Forum underway in Davos.

    As the three post-Soviet Baltic countries joined NATO, the organisation not merely came geographically closer to Russia from the northwest. An anti-Russian bias of those countries' elite may make NATO share it, the Senator warned after conference with President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia.

    NATO is circumventing Russia from the southeast as Partnership for Peace evolves into a military alliance. NATO is making passes on Georgia and Azerbaijan-European Russia's southern neighbours, and establishing extraordinary contacts with Ukraine along the Russian southwest frontier. Be all that as it may, to become NATO's enemy and give up activities on The Twenty is the last thing Russia ought to do. Russia is not to make a bugaboo of NATO in the security context, either though, certainly, Russian military-oriented government contracts will grow with the NATO expansion pace, added Mr. Marghelov.

    A resolution to step up European defence and security policies, and an initiative to establish a European security and defence union and a European armaments agency make NATO security arrangements "somewhat odd", as he sees it.

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