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The recently-appointed Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Thursday
The recently-appointed Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Thursday he would start work at the organization's HQ in Brussels on January 28.

"I am flying to my new place of work on Sunday and my meeting with the alliance's secretary general is scheduled for Monday. On January 30, I will participate in my first session of the Russia-NATO Council," Rogozin said.

"I see my main task as the unblocking of the Russia-NATO partnership program for 2008 and to raise relations to the level of constructive dialogue. Our partners also understand this need," Rogozin said.

Rogozin, a former chairman of the lower house 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. He also formerly led the nationalist bloc Rodina (Motherland).

Rogozin said a Russia-NATO Council meeting of defense ministers would take place in early February.

"Later, around February 9-10, a traditional Munich conference on security will be held with the participation of Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov," Rogozin said.

At the same time, Rogozin said Russia had not yet made a decision on a proposal from the NATO leadership to hold a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council with the participation of heads of state as part of the alliance's overall summit in early April in Bucharest.

"This initiative is being discussed, but no decision has yet been made," he said.

Rogozin also urged closer cooperation between NATO and the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), comprising of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

He said there were problems that could be resolved through close interaction between the CSTO member states and NATO.


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