Russia's envoy to meet with NATO ambassadors in Brussels

09:55, 26 January 2009
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Russia`s envoy to NATO will hold an informal meeting on Monday with NATO ambassadors in Brussels, the Russian mission at NATO headquarters said, according to RIA Novosti.

The meeting, which was agreed on December 19 during talks between Dmitry Rogozin and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, could pave the way for the resumption in full-fledged cooperation between Russia and the alliance.

"We have achieved the level of political contacts, and their frequency will depend on NATO`s readiness to realize the mistakes, made during the tragedy in the Caucasus," the mission quoted Rogozin as saying.

Relations between NATO and Russia sunk to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War after Moscow and Tbilisi fought a brief military conflict over Georgia`s breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Two weeks after the end of hostilities Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway province, as independent states. NATO called Russia`s military response to Georgia`s attack on South Ossetia "disproportionate" and condemned Moscow`s decision to recognize the former Georgian republics.

In response to NATO`s decision to halt cooperation, Russia put on hold a number of programs, including the Partnership for Peace program, a high-ranking visit to Moscow, some joint naval training and NATO visits to Russian ports.

However Russia continued its work with NATO on arms control, cooperation in airspace, and the war in Afghanistan.

NATO foreign ministers agreed in early December at a meeting in Brussels to gradually restore contacts with Moscow.

NATO secretary general earlier said that relations between the alliance and Russia will be discussed in detail at a meeting of foreign ministers, which will be attended for the first time by newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

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