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I expect Russia to renew participation in Active Endeavour

28 June 2009 / 07:06:23  GRReporter
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This is what the foreign-affair minister of Bulgaria, Ivailo Kalfin, said in an interview for Maria Spassova and Stoil Topalov after the meetings of the NATO- Russia council and the ministers from the OSCE members, that took place on the Greek island Corfu.

-                   Mr. Kalfin, how would you assess the yesterday meeting between NATO and Russia? Which were the topics prevailing- those that unify the two sides or the ones that strain their relationships, like Georgia and the missile defense in Europe?


-                   Since August, last year, this is the first meeting after the interruption of NATO- Russia relations. Practically, this dialog has been renewed yesterday, along with all the obstacles after a year-long stagnation and strong tension in relation to Georgia. What became clear yesterday was that both NATO and Russia are willing to continue their dialog after the meeting that ended yesterday. An important fact is that Russia confirmed the renewing of military collaboration with NATO. It was confirmed that stronger collaboration between the two sides is needed regarding Afghanistan and the war against drug trafficking, piracy and terrorism. This clearly outlines the topics that will concern NATO and Russia in their future collaboration.  


This, however, does not mean that future NATO- Russia relationships will be cloudless and unproblematic. Russia has quite acutely set forth the issues concerning different safety levels and the principal of undivided security in Europe. This is a topic that deserves discussion but it cannot be claimed that security is an even-out game, meaning, when it increases for one it drops for another. Therefore, this is a general understanding with significant disagreements on. Strengthening security in Europe is not happening on Russia’s account but this is wrongly perceived by Moscow. Apparently this issue is up for discussion in the future as well. The important thing is that the dialog and collaboration have been restarted and the problems dividing the two sides were brought up for discussion.


-                   You mentioned renewed military relationship between NATO and Russia. Does this mean that collaborative military practices should be expected at a border region, like Black Sea?



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