NATO parliamentarians discuss ties with Russia in Warsaw
Participants in the fall session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which opened in Warsaw on Friday, discussed relations between the alliance and Russia among other issues on the first day of the talks, former Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld said.
A delegation of Russian parliamentarians, led by the head of the lower house's defense committee, is taking part in the session, which will run in the Polish capital until November 16, RIA Novosti reported.
"It was discussed what relations between NATO and Russia should look like after the Lisbon summit and what is the place of Russia in the new NATO strategy, which difficulties emerge in the Russia-NATO cooperation," Rotfeld said, adding that this cooperation is being hampered by a "negative perception of each other" and a "lack of confidence from both sides."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier in the month that he would attend the Russia-NATO summit on November 20, part of NATO Lisbon summit on November 19-20, for the first time since the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, which soured Russia's relations with the alliance.
The head of the Russian delegation, Viktor Zavarzin, said Russia and NATO should "proceed from statements to joint actions" during the Lisbon summit.
"There is a lack of practical actions. We should sit down at the negotiating table and proceed from theory to practice. We should determine out technical potentials and threats. It the European, the Americans and the Russians determine that a threat from Iran exists, it means it really exists, and vise versa," Zavarzin said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Friday that Russia believes the Lisbon summit will completely put an end to the post-Cold War period and set guidelines toward a strategic partnership.
Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin earlier said that he hoped the Lisbon summit, during which NATO is expected to approve a draft of its new Strategic concept, would help clarify preparations for the European missile defense plan.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly said that NATO wants Russia to be part of a missile defense plan for Europe, but Russia says a serious assessment of missile risks should be carried out before starting on the project.