NATO indicates quick resumption of formal contacts with Russia 2009-03-05 05:08:30   Print

    BRUSSELS, March 4 (Xinhua) -- NATO said Wednesday that it may hold a formal meeting of the NATO-Russia Council very quickly if its foreign ministers decide on Thursday to resume formal talks with Russia, which were frozen since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008.

    A formal meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at ambassadorial level could take place "very very quickly" should the ministers decide on Thursday to resume formal contacts, NATO spokesman James Appathurai said Wednesday. "There is no obstacle to that."

    The alliance also hopes to hold a NATO-Russia meeting at ministerial level sooner rather than later, he said.

    "The sense around the NATO table -- this would depend very much on the Russian Federation -- is that they would wish to hold C if they decide to move forward in this way -- a ministerial-level meeting sooner rather than later."

    But the spokesman said a NATO decision to re-engage with Russia does not mean NATO has changed its position on the military conflict between Russia and Georgia.

    "A decision to re-engage in formal meetings of the NATO-Russia Council would not imply any diminishment of NATO's condemnation of the events that took place in August (2008) and possible decision by the Russian Federation to build bases on Georgian territory," he told reporters.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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