Lyubov Sliska: Cooperation within Russia-NATO Council Has a Great Future

Co-operation within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council, including its parliamentary component, has a great future. First Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) Lyubov Sliska spoke about it at a joint session of delegations of the State Duma and of the committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic bloc.

Russia and the Alliance's countries have much in common in the assessment of their requirements in the sphere of security provision: they want to have highly professional, mobile and well equipped forces capable to accomplish the whole spectrum of today's tasks, pointed out Lyubov Sliska who is the head of the State Duma's permanent delegation at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The Vice-Speaker underscored that Russia and the Alliance have common tasks, including the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, crises reaction and emergency civil planning. Co-operation between Russia and NATO, she added, must have "a common, inviolable basis - International Law." At the same time, in her opinion, the prospects of NATO's co-operation with Russia and the rest of the world as a whole "will depend in many respects on whether the Alliance will be able to fit in with the global architecture of security and not to make it meet the interests of the Alliance." Lyubov Sliska also pointed out that "our negative attitude to NATO enlargement has not changed, nevertheless an appropriate decision has been taken, and this has caused a number of concerns in Russia." For instance, said Sliska, Moscow has more than once said that it was necessary to have "clear guarantees that the Baltic countries will not increase armaments, nor that the armaments of other countries will be deployed there." However, "there have not so far been any legal limitations there for the deployment of armed forces." Apart from that, the Vice-Speaker pointed out, the Iraqi crisis has necessitated a reform of the system of co-operation between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance. Among the defects of this system Lyubov Sliska named "the absence of the need to use" the mechanism of the Russia-NATO Council while discussing the Iraqi crisis.