Russia Can Join NATO, Says Washington

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Obama administration is not ruling out the possibility of Russian membership in NATO.

Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that the United States would consider Russian membership in the military alliance that was founded to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.

Gordon said NATO should be open to European democracies. He added that “if Russia meets the criteria and can contribute to common security, and there is a consensus in the alliance, it shouldn’t be excluded.”

NATO is often vilified in Russia, which has objected to NATO’s expansion to include Russia’s neighbors.

But the Obama administration, seeking better relations, says it wants to convince Moscow that NATO is no longer a threat.

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