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Bad news for Avlabar from NATO2009-12-08 17:38
Almost a year and a half after the armed conflict in Caucasus the North Atlantic Alliance decided to resume full-fledged relations with Russia understanding that without Russia it is impossible to offer adequate response to the challenges of the international terrorism and piracy at sea and create a new security architecture in Europe.
The statement of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance's secretary on the issue requires special attention. At a recent press conference he stated: "Russia-NATO relations are indispensible to provide security in Europe. Certainly our work here needs time. But the most important thing is that we have made the first step" which was the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council's foreign ministers in Brussels.
This is the first meeting in this format after last year's August events when criminal and selfish actions of the Georgian leaders put the world on the verge of a new war. The Russia-NATO Council meeting was meant to reopen cooperation between the parties that following the Russian-Georgian war was frozen on all levels.
Today Moscow and NATO are reforming the cooperation format laying special emphasis on Afghanistan, Russia is getting involved in NATO's marine operations and the disputes over Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not on the agenda.
Attempts of some NATO members to frustrate the meeting were not a success. Most NATO member states and NATO's leaders reasonably believe that without Russia the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan risks ending in failure.
As a result of the meeting the parties signed all preplanned documents that will determine the 2010 cooperation program. Particularly a special subgroup for Afghanistan will be set up. Thus Moscow may increase its influence on Afghan issue solution. Though Russia didn't send its military contingent to Afghanistan it keeps playing an important part providing cargo transit for coalition needs. The consultations the Russians plan to take part in refer to civil and political settlement - not military.
Moscow's military cooperation with the alliance is resumed too: Russia gets back to NATO's Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean and to joint struggle against Somalian pirates.
Three documents on cooperation were coordinated and approved in Brussels. One stipulates the necessity to render Russia-NATO cooperation more active, the second deals with wider interaction in struggle against terrorism and piracy. The third one is dedicated to measures for improvement of Russia-NATO Council work.