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NATO and Russia turn back to cooperation2008-12-04 15:40
At the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels it was decided to resume dialogue with Russia.
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer reported: "The allied states decided that I should call for resumption of contacts with Russia. The alliance agrees to hold an informal meeting of NATO-Russia Council at the level of ambassadors aimed at resumption of contact and discussion of issues that unite and disunite us".
It will be remembered that the contacts between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation were suspended on August 19 as a result of military conflict around South Ossetia. Then the Coalition considered Russia's intervention in confrontation between Georgia and South Ossetia inacceptable.
According to Russia's Permanent Representative "the results that we have achieved will be analyzed in a most thorough way and followed by official reaction from Russia. However already now we can say that resumption of dialogue is the main result of the work we started immediately after the crisis in South Caucasus last August", - the diplomat told "Interfax" adding that:
"Russia will continue to act as it considers right for protection of its citizens and its national interests basing on international law".
Probably somebody will perceive a logical mismatch between "resumption of dialogue is the main result" and "Russia will continue to act as it considers right". In reality there is no contradiction. Simple size-up of the events and facts of the last months starting from the August conflict quite vividly confirms that a rather rigid position that Russia maintained due to circumstances made the West reconsider its evaluations and conclusions to a large extent and accept the argumentation that initially was met with hostility.
Yesterday following the end of Georgia-NATO Council Jaap de Hoop Scheffer repeated once again that the alliance would not set forth conditions for resumption of cooperation with Russia, RIA Novosti reports. Besides he emphasized: "The situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia must be discussed at the talks in Geneva. This is not a NATO issue though the adherence to all clauses of Medvedev-Sarkozy peace plan is very important for us".
According to the Secretary General he has a commission to hold political consultations on informal level with the Russian party in order to evaluate whether the activity of Russia-NATO Council can be officially resumed. "Primary condition (of dialogue with Russia) is that Russians should say "yes". And here we already have positive indicators", - Scheffer noted. Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Dmitry Rogozin stated earlier that the informal dialogue with NATO Secretary General could be revived before the end of the year.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated in her turn that her country "was not opposed "in principle" to NATO contacts with Russia except for military partnership", - ITAR-TASS reports.
At the same meeting of the Foreign Ministers on Tuesday the assumptions that Georgia's and Ukraine's accession to NATO would be put off were justified. The decision is postponed at least until the next year in order to give the applicant states an opportunity to comply with MAP obtainment terms (NATO Membership Action Plan). Jaap de Hoop Scheffer stressed this very fact emphasizing that the active work of Georgia-NATO and Ukraine-NATO councils would allow selecting a yearly plan of necessary reforms in the republics: