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U.S. warns Russia against assertion in Baltic region

RIA Novosti


TALLINN, February 26 (RIA Novosti) - Though seeking to find new ways of working with Russia, the United States will not accept Moscow's policies in the Baltic region, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said at a news conference in Tallinn on Friday.

"We've made it very clear that even as we seek to find new ways of working with Russia we also are very clear that we don't accept certain of their policies, the assertion of their sphere of influence, particularly in this [Baltic] region," Flournoy said.

However, she acknowledged that NATO and Russia could be very productive.

"We believe NATO and Russia can be very productive, with a working relationship going forward, and it's really up to Moscow in many ways to sort of pace the relationship. I think NATO is very willing to explore areas of cooperation going forward," Flournoy said.

She said she had also discussed with Estonian Defense Ministry officials issues of practical cooperation between Russia and the alliance, including non-proliferation and counterterrorism.

"I think there are some differences of perception between Russia and many of the NATO allies that need to be discussed and addressed," she said.

On Iran, she said its recent actions had resulted in "an evolution" of Russia's views, "providing a strong basis for cooperation on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons."

"We appreciate Moscow's acceptance in addressing this threat to global security," she said.

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