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NATO counts on resumed military cooperation with Russia

RIA Novosti


CORFU (Greece), June 27 (RIA Novosti) - NATO hopes that military cooperation with Russia will be resumed after Saturday's Russia-NATO Council session on the Greek island of Corfu, the alliance said.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai said "a resumption or military-to-military contacts" can be expected, adding that the Council was an organization with a great potential.

Today's informal foreign ministerial meeting of the Council is the first high-level talks since last August's five-day war between Russia and Georgia, after which contacts were frozen. Russia then recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which was attacked by Tbilisi in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

Relations between Russia and NATO have also been frayed in recent years over the military alliance's eastern expansion. Ukraine and Georgia, both former Soviet republics, have applied to join, but their U.S.-backed bids were turned down due to pressure from Germany and France at a 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.

The Russian-NATO Corfu meeting takes place ahead of a session of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the island.

NATO and Russia have recently taken measures to step up cooperation on international security, including cargo supplies to Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden.

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