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NATO Commander Praises Close Ties With Russia

The NATO flag (RFE/RL) 8 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The Supreme Commander of the NATO military alliance said today that NATO’s partnership with Russia has grown closer and is reaping benefits.

General James L. Jones said military ties between Russia and NATO have strengthened over the past two years, and that it is more important than ever for the two countries to continue working closely together.

"I think it’s important that we continue to work with Russia, to make sure that Russia understands that in this asymmetric world that we face, the type of threats that we face is the common threats,” Jones said.

He added, “[The threats] are not just oriented towards Russia or towards the alliance but towards all of us. And we must work together to bring about the conditions that enhance our security concerns, and we can do that better by working together."

Early next week, two Russian warships will become full members of NATO’s counterterrorism exercise, Operation Active Endeavor, in the Mediterranean Sea.