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NATO is ready to work with Russia's new envoy
NATO is ready to work with Russia's new envoy to the Western security alliance, official spokesman James Appathurai said on Wednesday.

The foreign affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament unanimously approved on Tuesday lawmaker Dmitry Rogozin, who formerly led nationalist bloc Rodina (Motherland), as the country's envoy to NATO.

The nomination has yet to be signed by the president.

The Rodina party was banned at the 2005 Moscow Duma elections over a nationalist campaign video calling to "free Moscow from the rubbish." The former party leader is now a member of the populist A Just Russia faction.

Rogozin, a former chairman of the State Duma committee for foreign affairs, was earlier considered a pro-Kremlin politician and held the post of presidential envoy to the Kaliningrad Region, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania.

"[The Federation Council's foreign affairs committee] came to the conclusion that he [Rogozin] could find new ways to strengthen complicated, but extremely important NATO-Russia relations," Vasily Likhachev, a deputy chairman of the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee, said.

Rogozin, characterized by his colleagues as an experienced and flexible diplomat, said if appointed to the post he would have to solve "very important issues," including international terrorism and the status of Kosovo, adding that "the whole of Serbia is pinning its hopes on Russia."

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