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Military

German defense minister to visit Russia for political talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Mar 2, IRNA -- German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung is to head for Moscow Tuesday for political talks for the first time since last summer's war in Georgia.

Jung is to meet with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov aimed at exploring ways to jump-start formal NATO-Russia ties which were broken off as a result of the Caucasus military conflict.

NATO foreign ministers could give green light to restoring official relations with Russia when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, press reports said Monday.

The main venue for direct negotiations, the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), was suspended by the western military pact in the wake of Russia's war with Georgia and Moscow's subsequent diplomatic recognition of the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

NATO diplomats have reportedly conducted what have been labeled as "cordial" informal talks with their Russian counterpart, Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin.

NATO and Russia are actively cooperating in several spheres despite the NRC freeze, among them Afghanistan and anti-piracy operations.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 378345



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