NATO’s chief on his first visit to Moscow has called for closer co-operation with Russia in tackling mutual security threats. Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Russia’s foreign minister that disagreements should not overshadow common interests.
President Medvedev said that relations between Moscow and NATO had reached a “new stage” a year after the rift over the Russia-Georgia war.
Many things depended on the level of cooperation between Russia and NATO, he said. Medvedev highlighted his proposal for a European security treaty. The west has been suspicious of the idea to alter east-west relations, fearing it might weaken NATO’s influence.
But one issue is driving the thaw in relations: Afghanistan. NATO needs Russia’s co-operation over supply routes for allied forces. Russia has allowed the alliance to use its land routes to send non-lethal supplies.
Moscow has its own reasons for helping the war effort – afraid that a return to power by the Taliban would destabilise the region and endanger its own security. The west though does not expect Russia to send its own troops to Afghanistan.