Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#26 - JRL 2008-68 - JRL Home
Any nation can cooperate with NATO without joining - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) - Russia provides an example to other nations of how to cooperate with NATO in areas of common interest without joining, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"I believe that we provide an example to others by showing how one can cooperate with NATO in those areas where we have, and I am certain, will continue to have close or overlapping interests, without aiming to become a de-jure member," Sergei Ryabkov, the director of the Department of European Cooperation at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said during a video conference in Moscow on Wednesday, commenting on Ukraine's plans to join NATO.

Russia and NATO have quite a broad range of common interests, which includes "dealing with the Afghan threat, drug trafficking and manufacturing, the airspace cooperation initiative, cooperation between agencies in responding to emergencies and many, many other issues," he said.

"However, the problem is that for us the expansion of the military alliance radically changes the security situation. Years of discussions with NATO on what the expansion means have already taught us. Taught us in a sense that we understood and took note of the Alliance's principle that within the Alliance there can be no categorization in providing security for various nations. This principle has been instilled in us since the very early time - since Germany's unification," Ryabkov said.