NATO to Russia: Cooperate on Missile Defense
NATO’s secretary-general on May 19 called for a “true, strategic partnership” between NATO and Russia after warnings from Moscow of a possible new Cold War should the two sides fail to agree on missile defense.
“My objective is to develop a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters following talks with Slovak Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on May 18 issued a startling warning of a new Cold
War era if Russia and the West failed to agree on missile defense.
Moscow is increasingly worried about U.S. plans to build missile defense facilities in formerly Communist eastern Europe and is also offended that NATO appears to have shunned its proposals for a joint missile defense shield.
“We do have our disagreements, but we have areas in which we share interest, in particular weapons of mass destruction and missile technology,” Fogh Rasmussen said.
“We have decided to develop a NATO anti-missile defense, we have invited Russia to cooperate in anti-missile technology,” Rasmussen added. “Our idea is to have two independent systems that cooperate – a NATO system and a Russia system – each responsible for protection of its territory but capable of cooperation, data exchange,” he said.
Moscow has been battling NATO plans to deploy a system the West sees as a means of protection from nations such as Iran but Russia believes could potentially be deployed against its own defenses.