01/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

U.S. Softens Stance On Russia At NATO Summit

BRUSSELS -- With the Bush administration's influence rapidly waning, the United States agreed on Tuesday to support a modest reopening of NATO's dialogue with Russia, despite Moscow's continuing occupation of the separatist Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, taken during fighting in August.

It was a concession by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her final NATO meeting. In return, Germany agreed to allow NATO to accelerate work on preparing Ukraine and Georgia for eventual membership, while postponing any further decisions for the incoming Obama administration.

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