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Russian Ship Barred From NATO Antiterror Patrol

BRUSSELS -- NATO has barred a Russian ship from joining its multinational antiterrorism patrol in the Mediterranean in apparent retaliation for Moscow's military action against Georgia, a NATO diplomat said.

The Black Sea patrol ship "Ladny" had been due to take part in NATO's Operation Active Endeavor in August and September involving antiterrorism exercises and practicing search-and-rescue operations at sea, Russia's naval command said last month.

It had already arrived off the coast of Turkey to take part in the operation.

But the diplomat said that following the fighting in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, Washington had withheld its agreement for the Russian ship to join the mission, launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

NATO diplomats said the U.S. administration had also blocked so far a Russian request for an emergency meeting of the NATO-Russia Council to discuss the crisis in the Caucasus.

Russian Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin submitted the request on August 11 and NATO officials had originally said the meeting could take place the next day, but it was put off and NATO said more time was needed for preparation.

Instead, Washington has called a special meeting of NATO foreign ministers on August 19 to discuss the Georgia crisis without Russia.
Crisis In Georgia
For RFE/RL's full coverage of the conflict that began in Georgia's breakway region of South Ossetia, click here.