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Russia Ready to Play Nice with NATO

In a nod to the overall atmosphere of good will kindled by the US administration’s reset policy, Russia announced today it was willing to work together with NATO again. This comes after a two-year hiatus, following Russia’s invasion of Georgia. We’ll see how long this friendliness lasts. Reuters quotes Russian General Nikolai Makrov, speaking after a meeting with NATO’s military committee chairman:

“We are ready again to seek together responses to modern challenges and threats to international security, as well as mutually acceptable solutions to the problems that have piled up,” Interfax news agency quoted General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian armed forces’ general staff, as saying…

…”The long-term interests of Russia and the alliance coincide in this region,” Makarov said. “We are interested in successful actions by the multinational force.”

Some are skeptical about the chances of a successful cooperation between Russia and NATO, particularly when it comes to missile defence in Europe. 

In an IHT op-ed todayRichard Weitz warns that Russia’s visions of what European securityshould look like are quite different from those of NATO:

Russiandiplomats are trying to reduce NATO’s dominant role in Europeansecurity by limiting its further growth and inducing Europeans toaccept a new security treaty that would constrain NATO’s activities,including in the B.M.D. field.

[I]t remains unclear whether manyRussian policymakers genuinely share NATO threat perceptions aboutIran. Russians seem less convinced than many NATO leaders that theIranian government has decided to pursue a nuclear weapons options, orwould actually use weapons it did acquire for purposes other thandefense and deterrence.