Global General

Russia, NATO approaching breakthrough in ties

Updated: 2011-02-14 21:37
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MOSCOW - Russia and NATO are approaching a new breakthrough in bilateral relations, a Russian official said on Monday.

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Vladimir Voronkov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's European cooperation department, said he believed Russia and NATO are certain to achieve close cooperation as there are no insurmountable ideological disagreements between each other.

"A period of profound thaw has set in Russia-NATO ties. I am sure that we are close to a breakthrough," Voronkov said.

This "progress" is largely due to the North Atlantic military alliance, he added.

Voronkov stressed both sides must make progress in nuclear disarmament cooperation, Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the settlement of regional conflicts in order to achieve crucial positive changes with the current improvement of Russia-West relations.

The diplomat also said it was necessary to cooperate with NATO in the European missile defense system, visa-free regimes and the Modernization Partnership program.

"It is very important for Russia that NATO regards us not as an adversary but as a strategic partner," he said.