NATO chief to hold summit talks in Moscow on Wednesday

30th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit Russia on next week for talks to lay the groundwork for a major Russia-NATO summit, Russia's NATO ambassador told the ITAR-TASS news agency on Saturday.

"We are expecting the secretary general to arrive on the evening of November 2 (Tuesday) but the whole working part of the visit will be on November 3," Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin told the agency, speaking in Brussels.

"Naturally the main aim will be preparing the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon," he added

Earlier, NATO spokesman James Appathurai said that Rasmussen would meet President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday, November 5.

Medvedev has agreed to attend a summit between the 28-nation Western military alliance and Russia in Lisbon on November 20, immediately after NATO leaders hold their own meeting.

It will be the first NATO-Russia summit since Russia's war with Georgia in August 2008 caused a freeze in relations that has only recently eased.

NATO leaders are expected to agree at their summit on the need for the military alliance to launch an anti-missile shield to protect their populations.

The project is expected to be a topic of discussion between Rasmussen and Russian officials in Moscow.

Moscow has been suspicious about the purpose of the missile shield plans despite assurances from NATO that it was not aimed at Russia but rather at countering the threat of an attack from Iran.

© 2010 AFP

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