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    RUSSIA TO EXPAND COOPERATION WITH NATO, SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY'S SPOKESMAN

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    MOSCOW, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia intends to expand its cooperation with NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in the Vremena program of the Russian First TV Channel to be shown late on Sunday.

    "Now Russia faces a task of expanding cooperation with NATO, first of all, in specific areas," he said. Priorities are cooperation in anti-terrorist fight and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he pointed out.

    More than two groups of the Russia-NATO Council are working on specific directions, Mr. Yakovenko recalled. "Gradual, thorough work is underway," he explained.

    When speaking on cooperation with NATO member states, the diplomat said it should be developing. "No one can do without Russia and we cannot do without these countries, we can act only together," he said.

    Among other areas of interaction Yakovenko named working out of a theatre missile defense program, as well as assistance to NATO operations in Afghanistan.

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