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NATO not expected to declare Moscow its enemy

Moscow and NATO will complete a mutual analysis of threats before November’s summit of the Western military alliance in Lisbon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Russia expects that NATO will not declare Russia to be an enemy of the alliance’s new strategic concept, Lavrov told journalists in Moscow on Monday.“As for the question whether we feel that Russia is still regarded as an enemy [by NATO], you know, we don’t have such a feeling,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Moscow expects NATO’s new concept “to consolidate the line of developing partnership with the Russian Federation,” Lavrov stressed.

He expressed hope that Russia and NATO, in particular, “will come to mutual understanding” of missile risks and where they come from. Moscow is “closely observing” the situation of missile defense, the minister said.

Read RT Politics Interview on NATO-Russia relations here

Speaking about Russia’s possible participation in the European missile defense system following NATO’s invitation, Lavrov said that “this system first of all should be created.”

“As I understand, such a decision is planned to be adopted at the NATO summit in Lisbon,” he said. At the same time, the US is negotiating the deployment of separate elements of the future missile defense shield with some European countries.

Meanwhile, NATO is waiting for a signal from Russia regarding moving positions closer, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has said. “I would be glad if Russia sent a very clear message about the need for expanding cooperation between NATO and Russia,” he told Ekho Moskvy radio on Monday.

Westerwelle, who is visiting Russia, discussed easing visa regulations at the talks with Lavrov. “We have a feeling that we are approaching practical tasks that should be solved quickly enough to make possible a visa-free regime in our relations with the European Union,” the Russian minister said.

Speaking on bilateral ties with other countries, Lavrov said that relations between Moscow and Washington have improved under President Barack Obama. His coming to power made it possible to remove artificial ideological barriers from Russia-US relations, the minister said. Among the results achieved over two years, Lavrov highlighted the “breakthrough” agreement on strategic arms reduction and the establishment of the Medvedev-Obama commission on the development of bilateral ties. This commission, consisting of 20 working groups, “is actively working,” Lavrov said.

The minister assumed that during their forthcoming meeting of the presidents on the sidelines of the APEC summit “this progress will be assessed and we will set tasks on the future development of our relations.”

Sergey Borisov, RT