Russia and NATO should not turn a blind eye to the issues of defence and military security, Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying on Wednesday commenting on the forthcoming visit of NATO Secretary-General George Robertson. "Our primary objective is to stick to the policy ensuring that further build-up of military potentials meets the practical defence requirements and does not undermine the sides' security," he said. He believes that the military aspect is important, primarily, in the context of finding possible solutions to the issue of NATO expansion. Yakovenko stressed that "it was highly undesirable that such an expansion hampered the development of bilateral relations. This may happen if NATO expands without considering Russian concerns and security interests." He also said that "in general, the Russian position remained the same, that is the expansion will only add problems without strengthening the security of any side."
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