For over twenty years, NATO has reached out to Russia to enhance cooperation on a multitude of topics. NATO was forced to redact that cooperation in September of 2014 when Russia militarily intervened in Ukraine. Zamir Kabulov, of the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced earlier today, that Russia would like to re-open relations with NATO and come to an agreement to cooperate on terrorism. His statement came around the time three militants were killed while attempting an assault on a police station in Novoselitskoye, Russia.
Novoselitskoye is located in the volatile North Caucus Region and near the Dagestan Republic. Dagestan has been the victim of an Islamic insurgency since 2009, and a burgeoning recruiting ground for Daesh [ISIS/ISIL].
Separate bomb attacks in Dagestan killed two police officers on March 30th. Russia has also been the subject of a number of Daesh threats over the liberation of Chechnya and Russia’s on-going military campaign in Syria.
The Syrian Prime Minister, Wael al-Halaki announced today that the Russian Air Force would support an upcoming joint-assault on Aleppo.
The latest official policy stance on future relations by NATO with Russia is: “The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia, but it will not compromise on the principles on which the Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest.”
On April 8th, NATO and the Russia-NATO Council began a series of meetings in Brussels to outline the possibility for a future framework of revived cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia.
Recent Russian threats to Sweden could corrupt the timing of the proposal. Russia has been agitated by Sweden’s recent thoughts on joining the NATO Alliance. Sweden’s disclosure of interest prompted a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman to respond with a threat on Sweden’s possible induction into the Alliance: “[it]would have military, political and foreign policy consequences that would require indispensable response measures from the Russian side.” Sweden is demanding an explanation. Finland and Sweden have been carefully considering the real possibility of joining NATO as the security situation in Europe continues to deteriorate.
The NATO Facts Book on NATO-Russia relations lays out a history of Russian disinformation campaigns against the Alliance, stating, “Russian officials have accused NATO of a series of mythical provocations, threats and hostile actions stretching back over 25 years.” Russian mythology has spiked since relations broke down following Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine.
Interfax made the announcement that Russia is seeking cooperation earlier today: “Moscow is ready to work jointly with NATO in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, provided the Alliance is similarly ready, said Zamir Kabulov, the Russian President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.”
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