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4 Apr, 2009 17:25

Russia-NATO Council resumed

NATO members decide to resume work of joint NATO-Russia Council, which was suspended after Russia had recognized the independence of former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The leaders of NATO member states have agreed on Saturday to resume the work of the Russia-NATO Council, suspended by the alliance unilaterally in September 2008, after Russia's retaliation to Georgia's attack on South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.

"We agreed to resume the work of the NATO-Russia Council," Angela Merkel told journalists after a NATO Council session.

Now, NATO is urging Russia in its statement, released this Saturday, to reverse its decision to recognize the independence of former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia's envoy to the military alliance, Dmitry Rogozin, earlier said the "period of estrangement" in Russia-NATO relations is "largely behind us," RIA Novosti quoted his words.

Speaking live to RT from Brussels, he said Russia was ready to extend a helping hand to NATO's mission in Afghanistan.

“We can help with logistics, we can train anti-drug police on the base of Russian Police Academy near Moscow. We have to support the international efforts in Afghanistan to establish peace. But we do not want to be involved in the military part,” he said to the RT.