George Robertson: Russian President Looks For New Ways To Achieve Strategic Stability

President of Russia Vladimir Putin is a man of initiative with strong character who sees beyond slogans and stereotypes of the past and looks for new ways to achieve strategic stability, NATO secretary general George Robertson said in Brussels on Friday at a meeting with Russian journalists accredited with the NATO headquarters. According to Robertson, he was not surprised by Russia's response to the statement by US President George Bush on the new missile defence system expressed by Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov. As the NATO secretary general pointed out, he had met with both Presidents and had the privilege to hear the opinions of both key political figures of contemporary world and compare them. As Robertson further said, Moscow's position in relation to threats coming from the states seeking to take hold of missile technologies or "the rogue states" as they are called by Washington mainly coincides with the NATO position on this issue. According to the NATO secretary general, at a meeting in Moscow the Russian President spoke about the existence of a threat for Russia and European states coming from the states that were seeking to take hold of missile technologies. These states, the NATO secretary general believes, even today are capable of launching ballistic missiles against some European capitals, including Moscow. Bush spoke about the shield against strategic missiles while Putin spoke about protective means of the theatre of operations against small-range missiles. However, both of them have, in principle, common views on the assessment of threats and the need of the military solution of this problem, Robertson asserted. According to Robertson, at a meeting in Moscow Vladimir Putin noted that the threat was more noticeable for Russia and Europe because the states which are seeking to take hold of missile technologies are closer to them. In the opinion of the NATO secretary general, this means the general recognition of the fact that the world has changed, the cold war is past us and that Russia is a NATO partner, he said.

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