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PM Putin hopes for fewer contradictions between Russia and NATO

RIA Novosti

20:20 16/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday he hoped there would be fewer contradictions between Russia and NATO in the future.

Relations between the military bloc and Moscow have improved in recent months after being frozen in the wake of the August 2008 Russian-Georgian war. Russia has been unhappy about NATO's eastward expansion.

"I think we have a lot to talk about. A unification of Russian and North Atlantic alliance's efforts in spheres of common interest may yield good results," Putin told Rasmussen, who is currently on an official visit to Russia.

This is the first official visit to Russia by the Danish NATO chief, who took office in August.

The Russian premier added that although Russia and NATO have different opinions on various issues they continue to cooperate and may join efforts in the fight against terrorism and expansion of weapons of mass destruction, combating drug trafficking and organized crime.

"I hope there will be more points for contact in the future to solve common issues by using joint efforts," Putin said.

Rasmussen met earlier in the day with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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