NATO chief, Putin agree to meet soon
BRUSSELS | NATO’S top official plans to meet with Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin to discuss ties that have deteriorated over the alliance’s plan to deploy a missile shield.
NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Mr. Putin agreed during a telephone conversation on the need for good and stable ties, the alliance said Thursday.
“It was a constructive conversation,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said. “Both [men] stressed that they’re determined to continue cooperation and to meet bilaterally in the not-too-distant future.”
The Western military alliance says its planned missile defense program is aimed at potential threats from nations that have, or are acquiring, missile technology.
But analysts believe the shield is meant to protect Europe from Iran’s medium-range missiles.
Still, Russia has objected to the program, fearing it will eventually grow powerful enough to intercept Russian missiles, thus undermining its nuclear deterrent.