22 April 2013, 04:48

Foreign Minister Lavrov to Brussels for Russia-NATO council

МИД России Сергей Лавров

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, TASS

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