Accessibility links

NATO, Russia Resume Military Ties


NATO and Russia agreed Saturday to resume military ties, ending a 10-month rift caused by Russia's war with Georgia, but they failed to bridge major differences over the conflict.

The agreement, which clears the way for the two sides to restore cooperation on anti-piracy operations, counter-terrorism, and the war in Afghanistan, was reached at a meeting of NATO and Russian foreign ministers in Greece.

NATO's outgoing Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that the NATO-Russia Council, set up to improve ties between the two sides, is operational again.

Also Saturday, in Moscow, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, called on Russian officers to help move U.S.-Russian military relations to a new level.

Mullen and his Russian counterpart will sign a new military cooperation agreement next month, during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Moscow.

Dialogue between NATO and Moscow was suspended last August after Russia used force to stop Georgia's attempt to retake one of its breakaway regions.

An attempt in May to resume ministerial-level talks failed over NATO-led military exercises in Georgia, which Russia labeled a provocation.

Another source of tension has been a U.S. plan for a missile defense shield in Central Europe.

The NATO-Russia Council session was held on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

That two-day meeting focuses on resolving differences over Georgia, as well as Russia's proposal for a new European security pact.

One divisive issue is extending the OSCE monitoring mission in Georgia, which is set to expire Tuesday. Russia has blocked past attempts to keep monitors there.

When the OSCE talks end on Sunday, European Union ministers will remain in Corfu to discuss Iran policy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG