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Russia, NATO resume military cooperation

RIA Novosti


BRUSSELS, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and NATO chiefs of staff met Tuesday in Brussels, resuming the work of the Russia-NATO Council frozen after a Russian-Georgian war in August 2008.

NATO foreign ministers resolved to restore full-fledged cooperation with Russia last March.

The two sides are discussing a military cooperation plan for the current year, including Russia's support for the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan, specifically military transit via Russian airspace, as well as joint anti-piracy and antiterrorism efforts.

NATO froze ties with Russia following a brief armed conflict with Georgia and the recognition by Moscow of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but relations have improved in recent months.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed hope in December that the alliance and Russia would establish a joint missile defense system by 2020.

Addressing students at the Moscow State Institute/University of International Relations, Rasmussen said the joint shield would unite Russia and NATO politically and ensure nuclear security between them.

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