29 February 2012, 10:11
No progress at missile defense negotiations with Russia, Rasmussen said
WASHINGTON DC. February 29. KAZINFORM NATO does not see any progress at missile defense negotiations with Russia, which calls into question the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Chicago in May 2012, NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen replied to an Itar-Tass question on Tuesday.
If no missile defense agreements are reached by May, the next meeting of the Russia-NATO Council may not be held either, he said.
The alliance understands that Russia is living through the elections period and it will not receive any new Russian signals concerning missile defense until the elections are over, he noted.
However, life does not end in Chicago (where the next NATO summit is due on May 20-21), Rasmussen said. The alliance hopes that Russia will understand in the foreseeable future that missile defense cooperation meets its interests, because it faces the same threats as NATO and it is possible to make a joint evaluation of threats and to hold joint exercises, he said.
NATO will continue to fulfill the European missile defense plan approved at the Lisbon summit in November 2010 no matter Russia joins in or not, Rasmussen concluded.
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Troops from 15 countries to hold exercises in western Ukraine
WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM - About 1,300 troops from 15 countries will participate in the Rapid Trident 2014 exercises in western Ukraine this September, representative for the U.S. armed forces' European command, Gregory Hicks, told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.