Europe defence ties expand

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The Independent Online
Sweden and Finland joined Nato's Partnership for Peace yesterday and former Warsaw Pact countries formed ties with the European Union, writes Andrew Marshall in Luxembourg.

The countries of Central and Eastern Europe became associate members of the Western European Union, the EU's defence arm. 'This is an important step in overcoming the division of Europe,' said the German Defence Minister, Volker Ruhe, an advocate of creating closer ties with the East. Russia is excluded from the WEU.