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NATO Secretary General stresses Russia cooperation in St Petersburg

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

05 Jul. 2011

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed the importance of developing cooperation with Russia on 5th July when he addressed young military personnel and staff at the prestigious Mikhail Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St. Petersburg.

“By building closer trade links, and enhancing investment, we can create greater trust and transparency between us. And we can give ourselves a much better chance of facing the future with confidence. And that clear logic also applies to our security,” the Secretary General said.

NATO nations and Russia enjoy strong and growing economic ties. But that relationship relies on a secure environment in which to do business.

“For investors to invest, for businesses to do business, and for knowledge and technology to transfer, there must also be a climate of security. Of stability. And of safety. Trade and security are interlinked. They go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other,” Rasmussen said.

NATO and Russia already cooperate on a range of security issues, including the fight against terrorism, drugs and piracy. Last November, at a summit in Lisbon, they agreed to discuss the potential for cooperation in the field of territorial missile defence.

“Russia, too, faces a missile threat. Russian citizens, Russian territory, Russian forces, and Russian interests are also at risk. And as we share the same threat, it makes sense for us to cooperate in defending against it. It makes sense politically. It makes sense practically. And it makes sense militarily,” the Secretary General explained.

“Politically, it registers re-assurance. Practically, it creates confidence. And militarily, it enhances effectiveness,” he said. The speech, entitled “Russia and NATO: so much to gain”, was delivered a day after the ambassadors of the NATO-Russia Council held wide-ranging talks in the Russian city of Sochi as a further step in the creation of a strategic partnership between NATO and Russia.

The Secretary General also held a press conference and met with local officials, including the Vice-Governor of St Petersburg, Mikhail Oseevskiy.

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