Russia does not plan to shut doors to NATO-Lavrov

17:05, 21 August 2008
World
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"It all depends on NATO priorities..."

Russia is not planning to shut any doors in its relations with NATO, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"We are not going to shut the doors," he told reporters when asked how Russia would respond to NATO`s decision this week to freeze contacts with Moscow over its military operation in Georgia.

"It all depends on NATO priorities: if they prefer to support the bankrupt Saakashvili regime to partnership with Russia, that will not be our fault," Lavrov said, referring to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

"I can only say that Russia needs cooperation with NATO no more than NATO needs Russia," he added.

Russia is involved in a series of cooperation projects with NATO, including serving as a transit state for cargoes bound for the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

"The fate of NATO is being decided in Afghanistan," Lavrov said in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has his summer residence.

"After the famous NATO meeting (when the alliance froze contacts with Russia), some leading alliance officials were whispering into my ears: you are not going to halt the Afghanistan transit, are you?"

Reuters

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