NATO draws Russia closer

NATO and Russia have launched a new strategic partnership at a meeting between NATO Secretary General George Robertson and the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on 22 November. Lord Robertson presented the British proposal to offer Russia a say in some NATO decisions.

Lord Robertson said that the UK’s proposal will give Russia “a right of equality” with 19 NATO member states. Russia would become part of a “special council” within NATO. However, Russia has not been offered membership in NATO.

Mr Putin said that Russia is not asking for membership, but he would like to obtain the power of veto on NATO decisions. The Kremlin is lobbying for establishing joint decision-taking procedures between NATO and Russia.

 

Russia and the West have been drawn closer in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US. The Russia-NATO meeting has been termed "a historical opportunity", offered by the unprecedented co-operation between Russia and the West in an international coalition against Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and the Taliban.

"Once again we are in a coalition against a common enemy, the common enemy of global terrorism," said Lord Robertson in Moscow.

 

NATO is currently studying Britain's proposal to give Russia a special role within the Western military alliance.

 

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