Thursday, August 18, 2011

'NATO cooperation unpopular in Russia'

Source: Press TV

A recent poll shows that majority of the population in Russia believe that Moscow's cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) jeopardizes their national interests.

According to the poll taken by Moscow-based Yuri Levada Analytical Center between June 23 and 27, 2011, with a sampling of 1,600 people, representative of the Russian adult population, 42 percent of those questioned oppose Moscow's cooperation with the Western military alliance while 27 percent support it.

Thirty-one percent of those questioned said they had no opinion.

The NATO-Russia Council approved an “ambitious” working plan to "deepen and broaden" military cooperation for the year 2011 during a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on January 27.

The plan covers six main areas of partnership, including the fight against terrorism and piracy, logistics, joint search and rescue operations at sea, as well as theatre missile defense and military academic exchanges.

However, Russian and NATO military officials failed to make headway in resolving their differing views on the deployment of missile systems in Europe.

Speaking at press conference in Norway on August 9, Russia's ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, slammed the alliance's failure to guarantee that American warships equipped with anti-missile systems would not be deployed in the waters of north Europe.

"The very fact of deploying US military missile infrastructure in the northern seas is a real provocation with regard to the process of nuclear disarmament," said Rogozin.

"Why is no one giving guarantees that a US fleet equipped with Aegis interceptor systems won't be deployed in the northern seas?" he added.

Moscow fears that the anti-missile system would undermine its nuclear deterrent, and thus has been seeking legally binding guarantees to check it.


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