Russia-NATO: a marriage of convenience?

Read my comprehensive news summary of the missile shield problematique on the Lifeboat Foundation blog (“The Missile Shield and the Race for Space Awareness“).

Despite all the difficulties of cooperation between former rivals, “the impression that the Russia-NATO Council is called upon to be concerned only with Russia is a wrong one. Also wrong is the impression that it [the Council] is winding down,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Berlin in February. Sergei Ivanov, then deputy prime minister and defense minister, said that “Russia and NATO intend to work out a long-term plan to coordinate their efforts for a period of ten years.” The NATO leadership also believes that the fight against terrorism, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and the settlement of regional conflicts are the foundation of cooperation between Russia and the alliance. The two sides are particularly happy with the success of a series of joint counterterrorist exercises.NATO-Russia cooperation on a theater missile defense system was written into the Rome Declaration as a separate paragraph. A year later, in 2003, NATO’s then Secretary General George Robertson described the program as a “flagship” project. At that time, participants in the Russia-NATO Council meeting agreed on the first phase of a coordination program to develop a non-strategic missile defense system. Since then, the two sides have ignored the other’s moves in this area until the United States this year announced a plan to establish the third positioning region for its national anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Following Russia’s determined objections, the Americans began offering it a role in their anti-missile shield which it was obliged simply to refuse. For example, the Americans offered to use Russian missiles as targets for their anti-missiles or to deploy elements of a U.S. missile defense system in Russia.

Source: RIA Novosti.

See also “US sticks to European missile shield plan” at EPICOS via EUobserver.

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