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5 Mar, 2009 09:34

Friends again? NATO to embrace Russia

Moscow and NATO are expected to resume formal ties this Thursday. Relations were suspended when Russia repelled Georgia's attack on South Ossetia last August.

NATO's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says that despite their differences, Russia and NATO should co-operate on a number of global problems.

“We are not shying away at all from the serious differences of opinion that remain between NATO and Russia, in particular about Georgia. We also acknowledge that we have obvious common interests with Russia. Afghanistan is one, but counter-terrorism and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are others,” he said.

The issue is now being discussed at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
Also attending is Hillary Clinton on her first European trip as US Secretary of State.

She says she intends to persuade Russia to take part in the planned US missile defence shield in Europe, a project that Moscow sees as a direct threat to its national security.

Russia says the missile shield will upset the global nuclear balance and could prompt a new arms race. Washington claims it's not a threat to Russia and is aimed only against Iran.