RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER NOT ENTIRELY HAPPY AFTER TALKS WITH NATO

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow
2 May 06

Moscow, 2 May: Moscow will build its relationship with NATO "depending
on where and how the alliance's reform and expansion process proceeds
and how international law is observed, and with account of how Russia's
interests are observed in the context of a changing geopolitical
situation in the world", Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today
as he briefed President Putin on the outcome of the Russia-NATO
Council meeting.

The meeting was "on the whole not bad" in Lavrov's estimation,
but he was only entirely happy with the working document adopted on
Russia's initiative. "It was on the whole not bad, a businesslike
working document was adopted that was drawn up on Russia's initiative
and sums up the Council's achievements over the past four years," he
said in reply to a question from the president, who began a session
with the government with this issue today.

Lavrov noted that the document "lists the [existing] accords and
how to further improve the quality of our interaction as equals,
and it specifies work to be done on a plan adopted earlier to fight
terrorism".

He elaborated that Russia and NATO will "exchange information, hold
joint exercises and training sessions in tackling cyberterrorism, take
joint action to improve air-defence interoperability, and strengthen
reactions to man-made and natural disasters".

"A number of specific moves to step up the fight against the drugs
threat from Afghanistan are planned," Lavrov added. But he complained
that NATO does not want to collaborate in this area with the Collective
Security Treaty Organization. "Our counterparts are still unwilling
to establish collaboration with the CSTO, even though we again tried
to convince them how useful such collaboration would be," he said at
the meeting with Putin.

The Collective Security Treaty was signed on 15 May 1992 by Russia,
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. On 14 May
2002 it was decided to change this grouping into the international
Collective Security Treaty Organization.

"Are you happy with the outcome?" Putin asked.

"We're happy with the document, which makes it possible to deepen
cooperation on an equal footing," Lavrov replied.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress