Russia and NATO will agree to explore ways to cooperate on a missile defence system at a summit this week that will lead to an improvement in relations, according to the chief of the military alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
NATO leaders will meet in Lisbon at the weekend, where they are expected to endorse a plan to mount a missile shield that will defend Europe from ballistic missiles – and invite Russia to join the system.
Rasmussen said it would herald a “fresh start” in the relationship between NATO and Russia.
“Maybe I could go further and say a fresh start in the relationship between Russia and the West,” he told journalists in Brussels.
NATO and Russia are also expected to sign agreements to boost cooperation in the Afghan War.
They include increasing the number of transit routes for the alliance to ship cargo overland to Afghanistan across Russian territory.