Index

DATE=2/17/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / NATO (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-259237 BYLINE=BILL GASPERINI DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: NATO Secretary-General George Robertson is praising the outcome of his one-day visit to Moscow (Wednesday), in which he and Russia's leaders agreed to resume normal relations. The NATO chief (now back in Brussels) says the alliance has "turned a page" in its dealings with Moscow. Bill Gasperini reports from the Russian capital. TEXT: Secretary-General Robertson said he was satisfied with the results of a long day of talks in Moscow with Russian leaders. He praised the agreement reached with Russia to resume contacts and cooperation between the former Cold War adversaries. Mr. Robertson says everyone agreed to put the bitter disagreement over last year's bombing of Yugoslavia behind them. /// ROBERTSON ACT /// We've now kick-started [re-started] the dialogue and relationship with Russia, which I believe is in everybody's interest. /// END ACT /// The NATO chief spent most of the day (Wednesday) holding talks with Acting President Vladimir Putin as well as Russia's defense and foreign ministers. Afterward, the two sides issued a joint statement agreeing to focus on such things as security concepts and arms control. During his meeting with the NATO leader, Acting President Putin said Mr. Robertson's trip in itself was a sign that things are changing. /// PUTIN ACT IN RUSSIAN-IN AND FADE UNDER /// He said to Mr. Robertson: "The very fact of your visit shows that NATO attaches importance to its relationship with Russia." Mr. Robertson later told reporters it was Mr. Putin's decision to revive Moscow's relations with NATO, which were frozen last year when Russia reacted with anger to the alliance's intervention against Yugoslavia. Despite the generally positive comments during the day of talks, differences clearly remain. The NATO Secretary-General said he told his hosts the alliance supports the need to fight terrorism. But it also opposes the brutal tactics the Russian military is using in Chechnya. Both parties agreed on the need to focus on the bigger picture, saying the talks were the first step in that process. (Signed) NEB/BG/WTW 16-Feb-2000 17:49 PM EDT (16-Feb-2000 2249 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .