News / Europe

Russian President to Meet NATO Leaders

Portuguese police search a vehicle entering Lisbon's Parque das Nacoes district on 17 Nov 2010 where leaders of NATO member countries will attend a summit 19 Nov and 20 Nov
Portuguese police search a vehicle entering Lisbon's Parque das Nacoes district on 17 Nov 2010 where leaders of NATO member countries will attend a summit 19 Nov and 20 Nov

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet NATO leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, as they attend their annual summit 19 Nov and 20 Nov. There are a host of issues the two sides will discuss.

Medvedev will meet NATO leaders in the context of the Russia-NATO Council, which brings together the 28 members of the Western alliance, plus Russia. It is a parallel meeting to the official NATO summit and provides a venue to discuss issues important to both sides.

During a recent trip to Moscow, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the meeting with President Medvedev in Lisbon will be "an opportunity to turn a new page and to bury the ghosts of the past."

One of the key issues to be discussed is missile defense. The Bush administration proposed to deploy ground-based ballistic-missile interceptors in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. The Russians strongly opposed such a plan, saying it was aimed against Moscow - a view rejected by U.S. officials.

Ohio Wesleyan University NATO expert Sean Kay said President Barack Obama reconfigured missile-defense plans for Europe. "The Obama administration, and I think very wisely, shifted the focus to regional missile defense, theater missile defense capabilities, and the kinds of layers of missile defenses that already exist for troop protection and so forth, inside NATO planning."

Moscow's reaction to the latest missile defense plan, although not totally positive, was far less strident than its opposition to the Bush initiative. That has prompted NATO officials to seek cooperation with Russia, and that issue will be discussed at the summit.

Former U.S. ambassador to NATO in the Clinton administration Robert Hunter, who is now a scholar at the Rand Corporation, looks at Russia's apparently softening position.

"What has happened is that the Russians have come around to see that all they were doing was isolating themselves - they might actually get some benefits from it in terms of security and they can get some benefits from it in terms of industrial participation," said Hunter. "I think we also see Mr. Medvedev contrasting himself with prime minister, former president Vladimir Putin, to say, 'Look, we Russians will do better if we are working with the West and particularly the Europeans, than if we continue to stand aloof and play dog in a manger (spoiler).'"

NATO also is expected to discuss increased cooperation with Russia in Afghanistan. Russia allows NATO to transport non-lethal supplies from Europe to Afghanistan overland.

"The capacity to use Russia as a supply route, for at least some items, is helping to relieve the pressure on NATO forces in Afghanistan, who are finding certain vulnerabilities to the transit through Pakistan," said Hunter.

NATO officials say they want to expand the agreement to allow the transport of other items, such as heavy equipment. In addition, NATO wants Russia to provide 20 helicopters and pilot training to the Afghan army.

Kay said the relationship between Russia and NATO goes beyond cooperation over Afghanistan. "The bigger point is more symbolic and political: that the relationship can be renewed, rebuilt, rebooted and keep these kinds of architectures going between Russia and the West. Because at the end of the day, the West needs Russia on a range of issues from North Korea, to Iran, to Afghanistan and they [the Russians] continue to need the goodwill of the West on a wide range of things. So the interests converge and the NATO-Russia relationship is a good vehicle to keep those processes moving forward."

Analysts say one key irritant in relations between NATO and Russia has been taken care of: the alliance's eastward expansion, strongly opposed by Moscow. At the Lisbon summit, no new countries are to join NATO, and as one analyst put it, it appears that at this time, NATO enlargement has run its course.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs