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Russia, NATO formalize new relations

Russia and the 19 NATO member states signed the Rome Declaration on 28 May, establishing a new mechanism of cooperation between Russia and the trans-Atlantic alliance, the Russia-NATO Council, Russian and Western news agencies reported.

"The significance of this meeting is difficult to overestimate," President Putin said. However, he cautioned that the "Rome only a beginning," according to AP. "We must remember that relations between Russia and the North Atlantic alliance have been historically far from straightforward," Putin said. Western leaders hailed the development, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying that it "marks the end of the Cold War."

(RFE/RL 30.v.02)

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