Kazakhstan: Russian minister urges more ties between NATO,

Kazakhstan: Russian minister urges more ties between NATO, Shanghai group

Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty
25 Feb 05


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has come out in support of
stepping up cooperation between the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
[SCO; members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan, Russia] and NATO.

“The Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO; members are
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia] has
already come up with the initiative to establish cooperation with
NATO,” the Russian foreign minister said today at a news conference
following a session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO
member states.

“I think such cooperation could be also established between NATO and
the SCO.”

The Russian minister said that yesterday during the Russian-US summit
in Bratislava Russian President Vladimir Putin “drew the attention of
George Bush to the fact that such entities as the SCO and CSTO exist
in Central Asia”.

Lavrov said that: “The USA has interests in the region, and they
concern, above all, the fight against terrorism.” The minister
clarified that a threat emanating from Afghanistan was meant.

“Russia reaffirms its position on the need for cooperation with the
region’s countries and resolving the set tasks. Most importantly, this
cooperation should be transparent,” Lavrov said.