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

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid