Back to dialogue: NATO and Russia rebuild relations

On Monday, all 26 NATO members and Russia are holding a council meeting which aims to improve relations between Moscow and the alliance. The sides will also consider resuming regular meetings of the Russia-NATO Council.

NATO froze all work of the Russia-NATO Council last August when it condemned Moscow for what it described as a disproportionate use of force against Georgia. The alliance then suspended all military cooperation programmes.

Russia's representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow is ready to get down to business with the military alliance. He stressed, however, that the Russian side is not "going to pretend that nothing has happened."

"We have a number of serious questions to the alliance, especially about its extremely one-sided assessment of the Georgian intrusion into South Ossetia," he said. "This problem is going to be discussed."

Earlier, NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer emphasized that Russia remains a vital partner of the alliance, adding that the two sides should remain in dialogue on the issues that divide them.

According to him, these include anti-missile defence systems and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty - both of which establish the military balance in the world.

The issue of the United States pushing for Ukraine and Georgia's entry to NATO also remains a stumbling block.

Originally published at

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