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Lavrov: Russian President Accepts Invitation to NATO Summit

Russia's foreign minister says President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to attend the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest.

Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Mr. Putin will take part in the April meeting. The alliance last month invited Mr. Putin to join its leaders at the summit for a session of the NATO-Russia Council.

The meetings will take place shortly before Mr. Putin is to step down as Russia's president in May, after serving the maximum two consecutive terms permitted by the country's constitution.

Russia has expressed strong opposition to plans by Ukraine and Georgia to seek NATO membership.

Alliance leaders and Mr. Putin created the NATO-Russia Council in 2002 as an organ for consultation, joint decisionmaking and joint action in such areas as crisis management, efforts to deal with terrorism and non-proliferation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.