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Russia, NATO 'on verge of breakthrough'

RIA Novosti

15:23 14/02/2011 MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and NATO are about to achieve a new quality of relations, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Monday.

"A period of profound thaw has set in in Russia-NATO ties. I am sure that we are close to a breakthrough," said Vladimir Voronkov, head of the ministry's European cooperation department.

Russia and NATO are certain to achieve close cooperation as there are no insurmountable ideological disagreements between them, he told a student forum.

This "progress" is largely due to the situation within the North Atlantic military alliance, he said.

"NATO has reached the limit of expansion," Voronkov said, adding that there were no more Central or East European countries lining up to join the alliance.

"This points to a basically new level of relations," he said. "It is very important for Russia that NATO regards us not as an adversary but as a strategic partner."

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