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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Differing Stances on Missile Defence Hinder NATO-Russia Co-operation

08.12.2011

No. 404-E

At the meeting of the NATO and Russian foreign ministers in Brussels this morning, it was agreed that there are many areas in which NATO-Russia co-operation is effective, for example the fight against terrorism and the drug trade, anti-piracy activities, and improving the security situation in Afghanistan. However, the topic of missile defence continues to create tension in NATO-Russia relations.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that co-operation between NATO and Russia needs to be strengthened primarily in practical areas. “For example, building up Afghanistan and the fight against piracy, drugs, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are the concrete areas in which bilateral co-operation has helped to alleviate significant security problems,” said Paet.

Paet added that Estonia values the NATO-Russia Council as an opportunity to hold a straightforward dialogue on stances that align and those that are different. This also affects missile defence, an area in which NATO remains open to co-operation with Russia. “NATO’s missile defence system is not aimed against Russia, yet it has become the primary obstacle in the development of NATO-Russia relations,” said Paet.

Photos: http://tinyurl.com/6llw77z

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