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Moscow security meeting to focus on closer NATO-Russia ties

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Oct 8, IRNA -- High-level decision-makers from the US, European Union and Russia are to discuss prospects for promoting closer ties between NATO and Russia during a Munich Security Conference offshoot meeting in Moscow, a German official said here Thursday evening.

Talking to media representatives, the head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger stressed that the two-day closed-door talks, slated for October 19 and 20, would dwell on boosting the rapprochement process between Russia and the military alliance.

He called for NATO's 'open-door policy' with Moscow, saying the pre-conditions for a deepening of relations between the West and Russia were never as suitable as they were now.

Ischinger did acknowledge though that such an integration process of Russia into NATO would take a long time.

Meanwhile, a Berlin-based political observer on Russian affairs, requesting anonymity, told IRNA that western efforts to lure Moscow into the western military pact was bound to fail as a result of a deep mistrust by Russian militry leaders towards NATO.

'Whatever the West is planning by enticing Russia to join NATO will not work because the Russian generals don't trust the West and NATO. Plus, I don't think Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will support such as a move,' according to the observer.

NATO and Russia relations deteriorated over the Georgian war in August 2008.

Several former Soviet satellite Baltic states which are now NATO members like Poland, openly supported Georgia in its military campaign with Russia.

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

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30008225

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