RIA Novosti obtained information that on Friday prime-minister of Great Britain sent a letter to George Robertson, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to Russian President Vladimir Putin and to leaders of all Alliance countries with the proposal to start discussion of the issue related to deepening of relations between NATO and Russia. RIA Novosti was informed of that by a well-informed source in the British government. According to him, Blair's initiative provided for intensification of NATO cooperation with Russia in such areas as combating terrorism, non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons, peace-making operations as well as discussing problems of new threats facing the world. The source emphasized that the objective of the proposals was to "significantly improve" relations between the Alliance and Moscow. According to the RIA Novosti's interlocutor, the British premier in this connection proposed to abandon the existing format of relations within the framework of the Joint permanent council "Russia-NATO" and to establish a new Council "Russia-North Atlantic Union". The main objective of this body will be to develop new means of interaction between Russia and NATO, in particular, through increased Russia's involvement in the work in the existing Alliance's committees. The RIA Novosti's interlocutor concluded that "as a result of his personal meetings with Vladimir Putin Tony Blair became truly convinced that discussions on the subject of development of relations between NATO and Russia meet the present-day realities."
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