NATO’s new Strategic Concept. Closer ties with Russia and doors still open for Ukraine

17 May 2010

 A panel of experts met in Brussels to begin to lay the foundation for the future NATO Strategic Concept to be approved at Lisbon’s summit in November.  A document has been issued at the end of the work.

 The Alliance now faces a variety of “new threats from non-state actors”, including terrorism, cyber-crime, and maritime piracy. There are also internal differences over its relationship with Russia. While some countries are keen to improve relations with Moscow, some new members from central and eastern Europe have deep-seated suspicions about Kremlin’s plans.

 NATO and Russia should work more closely together on fields of mutual interest such as missile defense, counterterrorism, counternarcotics and maritime security, the document said.

The new mission statement emphasized the threat posed by Iran’s nascent ballistic missile capability.

“Missile defense is most effective when it is a joint enterprise and cooperation … between the alliance and its partners — especially Russia — is highly desirable,” the blueprint said.

 Criteria for membership in NATO in the recommendations to the new strategic vision are the same as before. Organization’s policy towards Ukraine also remains unchanged – Kiev may be a member of NATO, if it wants, and if it reaches the criteria of the Alliance.

Statement – NATO – Brussels – 17.05.2010

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