Kazakh president sees rapprochement between Russia, NATO as natural, positive factor
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said rapprochement between Russia and NATO was natural and this should be taken as a positive factor, RIA Novosti reported.
Last week NATO and Russia pledged to embark on a new era of wide-ranging cooperation, announcing plans to work together on missile defense, Afghanistan and other issues.
The "cooling-off period" in relations between Russia and NATO is over, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
"This convergence was natural, it's time for these encounters, and we should take this as a positive factor," Nazarbayev said in the Vesti on Saturday Russian TV program, broadcasted on the Russian Far East.
"Drug trafficking, piracy ... Today we see what is happening on the Korean peninsula. This requires an international force, which will protect our planet and humanity. And here Russia's participation is natural... And they understand in NATO that they can not do that without Russia," Kazakh president said.
Russia and NATO have completed negotiations on drafting an agreement allowing the alliance to carry supplies to and from Afghanistan across the Russian territory, Rasmussen said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signaled at the NATO Lisbon summit Moscow's willingness to work with the military alliance on the creation of a missile defense system in Europe.
Russia is also ready to cooperate with NATO in monitoring nuclear programs in other countries.
The NATO-Russia Council agreed to resume theater missile defense exercises and continue cooperation on the joint assessment of ballistic missile threats and the fight against sea piracy.