28 Jun 2009

NATO, Russia resume security ties

1:33 pm on 28 June 2009

NATO and Russia have resumed formal cooperation on broad security threats despite failing to bridge major differences over Georgia.

The deal was reached at a meeting in Greece of foreign ministers from the two sides.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the two sides recognised it was time to crank up joint efforts against Afghan insurgents and drug trafficking, Somali piracy, terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

"The NATO-Russia Council is now back in gear," he said. "We agreed not to let disagreements bring the whole train to a halt. On Georgia, there are still fundamental differences ... (But) Russia needs NATO and NATO needs Russia."

Russia routed Georgian troops who tried to retake South Ossetia in August 2008 and has blocked an extension of an OSCE peace monitoring mission in Georgia, which expires on Tuesday, by insisting on a separate mandate for South Ossetia.