24 May 2009 - NATO Parliamentary Assembly discusses resetting relations with Russia
Parliamentarians discussed relations with Russia during the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Spring Session in Oslo on 22-26 May. Senator Raynell Andreychuk of Canada presented a report entitled “Resetting Relations with Russia” to the Assembly’s Political Committee on 24 May.
Andreychuk said, “we need to explore venues to engage
“A successful NATO-Russia partnership is essential for tackling a host of contemporary security challenges,” said Andreychuk, who cited as examples instability in Afghanistan and Central Asia, terrorism, piracy, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and arms control.
In Afghanistan, Russia could facilitate the provision of supplies to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) through the expansion of overflight rights and the accommodation of military material transit routes “with only a minimal effort”, according to Andreychuk. From a broader perspective, she described
While recognizing the “significant contribution” of Russia to counter-piracy efforts by deploying warships in the Gulf of Aden, she believes much more can be achieved “if, rather than acting independently, the Allies and Russia considered conducting joint operations, thus avoiding potential overlap or poor coordination.” Regarding WMD proliferation and arms control, Andreychuk sees
“Cooperating closely on such issues where joint interests can be easily identified would serve to generate a certain amount of goodwill between NATO and Russia and should help build a basis for the improvement of relations in the other more contentious areas,” Andreychuk concluded, with the proviso that closer NATO-Russia co-operation not be directed against anyone nor come at the expense of any NATO member or Partner country.
Concrete proposals for strengthening NATO-Russia relations will be contained in the autumn version of the report to be presented at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session in