Nato leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday are set to decide whether to resume formal ties with Russia.
Despite lingering tensions, the alliance’s foreign ministers are expected to end the freeze with Moscow following last year’s war in the Caucasus. Ties between NATO and Russia were cut in August after Moscow’s incursion into Georgia during its conflict with Tbilisi over the breakaway region of South Ossetia Although the Bush administration spearheaded the suspension, last month, US Vice President Joe Biden hinted at change, saying it was time to hit the ‘reset’ button in relations with the Kremlin. In an effort to ease concerns, NATO foreign ministers are also set to meet their Ukrainian and Georgian counterparts, who are striving to join the bloc against Moscow’s wishes, to reassure them they still have a future. US and NATO officials are now emphasizing they have shared interests with Russia on thorny issues such as Islamic militancy in Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.