Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Welcomes NATO's Desire To Repair Links

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has welcomed NATO's declaration that it wanted to repair ties after a war earlier this year between Russia and NATO-aspirant Georgia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement also said NATO's decision not to hand Georgia and Ukraine a firm timetable for membership showed that NATO had now realized how risky any allegiance with the former Soviet states would be.

"We're not supporters of a new version of the Cold War," the Russian statement said. "We'll continue to work to overcome the confrontational logic of European affairs in order to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines or regions with different levels of security."

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said at a meeting of the 26-member NATO military alliance this week in Brussels that the suspended ambassador-level NATO-Russia Council would meet again on an informal basis.

A five-day war erupted in August between Russia and Georgia over the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia.

NATO accused Russia of inciting conflict and using disproportionate force. Russia says it had to act against Georgian aggression to defend people living in South Ossetia.

At the NATO meeting, the alliance reaffirmed a commitment to give Georgia and Ukraine membership one day, but it did not give a specific timetable.

"The fact that no decision was taken on Georgia and Ukraine towards a Membership Action Plan in our assessment reflects an awareness of the risks associated with being dragged into a quick alliance with these countries," the statement said.