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8 Feb, 2008 19:12

Russia-NATO relations deepen: NATO spokesman

Relations seem to be easing between Russia and NATO, as the co-operation programme between the two has been fully restored. It was suspended in December after Russia declared it was withdrawing from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty.

The decision to revive the strategic partnership came ahead of a Russia-NATO Council meeting in Lithuania.

“Everyone recognises that NATO-Russia relations are a strategic bridge across Europe, which we cannot do without. We need them. We have practical co-operation in areas that make sense, for instance, counter narcotics training. We have Russian ships sailing with ours in anti-terror operations. We’re joining up our aerospace picture so that we see what each other sees, and that’s very good as well. So where it makes sense, and there’s a lot of areas where it makes sense, we’ll continue to co-operate. And I think this relationship will deepen,” NATO spokesman James Appathurai stressed.

A NATO-Russia Council meeting was held on Friday alongside a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

In a reportedly heated discussion, Russia once again warned that U.S missile defence plans would have a negative impact on relations.

The future status of Kosovo and Afghan security issues were also discussed. These topics are likely to receive further attention at the 44th Global Security Conference in Munich on Saturday