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DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called NATO a throwback to the Cold War era on Friday but said the Western military alliance can sometimes play a positive role.

"To some degree, under certain circumstances, if it acts on a mandate of U.N. Security Council, NATO can play a positive role. We will develop our relationship with this organisation," Putin told soldiers at a Russian-leased base in Tajikistan.

(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Writing by Steve Gutterman)