De facto, Russia strives to be a NATO member.

Valeriy Chaly, international programs director of the Razumkov Center, said this to UNIAN.

“As early as today, Russia grants its air space for planes, conveying cargo for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. RF is striving to broaden such ties. Russia, not being a NATO member, wants to have the same right to vote on global security issues, as NATO member countries. In fact, Russia wants to be a de facto NATO member, without being such de jure”, V.Chaly said, adding that, at the same time, the issue of introducing Russian troops to Afghanistan is not considered, as of today.

Besides, he pointed out that recently some NATO leaders made statements that they should take into account the stance of Russia.

In the opinion of the expert, on the one hand, this trend is positive, because it strengthens the bilateral ties of Russia and NATO, which is a counter-argument for Ukrainian political forces, referring to Russian position when they oppose Ukraine’s joining NATO. On the other hand, this indicates a negative trend in the very NATO, which adopts key strategic decisions while watching the reaction of the third party.