Russia seeks new co-operation agreement for post-ISAF Afghanistan
By Brooks Tigner
Russia's support for allied operations in Afghanistan after 2014 depends on working out a new legal basis for co-operation, Russia's new ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, stated on 7 December.
"It is in our common interest that Afghanistan remains stable, that terrorist threats do not increase and that the country stops being a source of insecurity for the region," Grushko stated.
With the recent thawing of their bilateral partnership, Russia and NATO are exploring how to work together in Afghanistan after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission ends in 2014, although the subject of allied missile defence continues to cloud their relations.
Grushko took up his first official duty by attending a 4 December meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) where Afghanistan and other topics were discussed. It was the NRC's first meeting in 10 months, a lapse in high-level contacts between the two that flowed largely from Russia's staunch opposition to NATO's plans for a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system.
While Moscow continues to reject NATO's suggestion for involving Russia in BMD architecture as "totally unsatisfactory", the approaching end of the ISAF mission means the two sides must work out how they will co-operate after 2014.198 of 675 words
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