NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels brings no solid progress on missile shield - Rasmussen
The missile shield issue is an area where NATO and Russia have active dialogue, but limited progress, Rasmussen said on the results of the meeting.
It is important that NATO and Russia continue working on the issue, Rasmussen said.
NATO and Russia have opportunities to give new dynamics to the dialogue and the two will use them, the NATO general secretary said.
A stable Afghanistan is a priority goal in the partnership between Russia and NATO, said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Voice of Russia correspondent Olga Denisova reports.
NATO adheres to the cause of stability and security in Afghanistan, which remains a priority aspect in the partnership between NATO and Russia, Rasmussen told the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on Tuesday.
Russia and NATO worked together in training personnel for combating drug exports from Afghanistan and for servicing helicopters, and supplied much needed spare parts to the Afghan Air Force, he said.
Russia and NATO will discuss opportunities on Tuesday for broadening partnership, guided by the progress made, he said.
The Russia-NATO Council may opt for implementing the second stage of the helicopter package for Afghanistan following its current session in Brussels which is being held with the participation of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
According to Sergei Yermakov of the Russian Strategic Research Institute, even though the situation in Afghanistan remains tense, NATO has successfully addressed the military issues.
The main challenges are coming from political and economic areas and the drug problem which poses a major threat to Russia, Yermakov said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is headed to Brussels, where on April 23rd he is to attend a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council.
According to official foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, at the ministerial meeting pressing international issues and the problematic relations between Russia and the Alliance will be addressed.
The sides will discuss the prospects of further cooperation in responding to common risks and security threats including: terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy and natural and man-made disasters, said the diplomat.
He added that the Ministers will also exchange their assessments of the situation in Afghanistan.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for his part has reiterated that the alliance expects to start the meeting by discussing the matter of Russia’s second phase of Russia’s "helicopter package" for Afghanistan.
"This will allow the Afghan army to increase the capacity of the Afghan Air Force, in particular, to ensure the evacuation of the wounded," said the secretary general.
"The helicopter package" involves, in particular, the provision of funds for Russian and NATO helicopters for the Afghan security forces.
The NATO-Russia Council will hold an “open and honest dialogue” on topics such as North Korea and Syria with the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Rasmussen, adding that Russia and NATO’s positions are similar in many aspects.
In regard to the missile defense issue, breakthroughs at the meeting should not be expected.
"I do not expect a breakthrough on this matter but all options will be fully considered”, said Rasmussen.
Voice of Russia, Interfax,